To start your own skate shoe brand is not a joke, let alone in these unpredictable times. Portray Footwear has braved and powered through by starting the near impossible–by coming up with a skate shoe brand that boasts of not just quality and looking the part, but with affordability in mind.

Not only that, it’s their recent exploration in the world of limited pairs. What caught our attention was the 2 upcoming releases that number only up to 40 pairs each. We love the Dunks over here at This Is Hype and honestly, they remind us of them but they made an effort to put their personal brand stamp on them to keep things interesting.

Hailing from Davao, things are very much looking up for the brand. We got ahold of Dalton Bautista, the main man behind the brand just to get to know his brand better. Read on.

First up, can you give us a little rundown on how Portray Footwear started?

Portray started in July 2020. We started doing research, sample making, revision, and testing.

It took us roughly a year to decide which factory should manufacture our first silhouette. We took the budget, production time, and market into consideration. We were at the height of the pandemic. We thought it was not the best time to launch a shoe brand.

However, I saw huge potential. Not only as a business but also as a way of supporting the skate community. A brand means sponsorship, which means being able to help local skateboarders. Above all, the goal is to provide quality yet affordable skate shoes.

Being based in Davao, was it a challenge to introduce your brand to the rest of the country? How was it?

Actually, I think it is a not challenge especially in this age of the internet. Not only for me but I think for other businesses too. It’s so easy to introduce your brand with social media, digital marketing, and ads.

So our skateboarders test out the shoes and they post their feedback on social media. At the same time, we consistently post product updates and product photos. All of our marketing strategies are organic.

I’m not sure if we indeed introduced the brand to the rest of the country. But we’re glad to know that some already knew we do exist. 

Let’s talk about your upcoming limited release The Ruby, was this a conscious move for you to branch out to the sneakerhead community?

Honestly. No, it was not our intention. I just want to release a design that relives the old skate shoes. Those bulky and huge yet will still fit this generation’s taste or choice. However, it is an honor for us to be known in the Sneakerhead Community. We are glad to know that we’re able to reach them.

What’s the story behind the two colorways? Can you share the inspiration behind them?

Nothing really. I mixed and matched based on my preference, like what kind of suede and leather texture I will be using. The color payoff would differ based on what materials I’m going to use. For example, some colors are not great with other leather and suede’s texture.

I think purple is a great base. So I went from there, asked the factory to provide a sample. The design turned out great with the colorways and materials I picked. That’s when we decided to release these designs.

What makes a great skate shoe? Can you give us the process on how you create and design them?

It’s a personal preference. Great skate shoes for me might not be for others. As for me, it’s the durability, the board feel, and impact protection. Portray shoes are based on that preference.

We aim for a minimalist design. We would like the shoes’ design to fits everyone’s liking. Simple and wearable, regardless of what style you are pulling off. Of course without compromising the real purpose of the shoes.

 

The 2 colorways of the Ruby only have a 40 pair run. Will we see more of these limited edition releases?

Yes, there are a lot of colorways in the pipeline. We will keep you posted!

In a sentence, what is Portray Footwear all about?

Portray is about quality and affordability. We pride our brand on being affordable yet with great quality. Not a perfect shoe brand hence we always aim to work in progress.

Your message to This Is Hype readers, promote the upcoming release, etc.

Firstly, thank you The Hype! for featuring us! To your avid readers, I hope this interview gave you a glance at our brand, Portray. Our new design, Ruby, will be launched very soon (Details will be updated on our pages) and it will be distributed by Skate shops. To get an update, please follow our Facebook page and Instagram account. Thank you!

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