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Filipino Sneaker Photographer and Podcast Host: Moe Samson

Interviews

Camille Lumogdang
September 11, 2022

As a former basketball player, Moe Samson @merklemoeman started obsessed with sneakers because all of his friends and coach wear a cool shoes. He loves sneakers not only because of its amazing design neither the history behind them, but it's motivate him to get better in basketball!

What was the moment you first got drawn to sneakers, and which pair of sneakers triggered your passion?

At nine, I played for my local boroughs Basketball team, the Newham Youngbloods, and the well-respected Caroline Charles coached me. I would look up to the older guys who would train in the court sessions after us.

It was the 90's Era, where you saw Penny Hardaway, Grant Hills, Kobe Bryant (Adidas Era), and of course, Nike Air Jordan. It was always basketball before sneakers back then, so I was naturally exposed to them as a collective.

All images via @merklemoeman_

What’s one moment or trend in the history of sneaker culture that resonates with you?

It was the "What Goes Up, Must Come Down" advert by Nike/Jordan - The 1995 Air Jordan 11 Concords, to be exact. That advert triggered something in me to excel at basketball at a national level and also inspired me to play better.

Being the youngest of 3, those particular sneakers were well out of budget for my parents, and I promised myself that later in life, I'd acquire them. Fortunately, now I own the 2011's and the 2018's. Not to mention that advert was hella cool aesthetically for its time.

Please describe how it feels to you when you get and wear a new pair of kicks?

Honestly, I first check for imperfections and feel for creases, glues, stains, and shapes. I think I can resonate with most collectors when I say a good "Smell-Test" is one of the best feelings when unboxing a new pair, LOL.

Other than that, it feels great to have them in hand because we all know Stock Images are a completely different experience than having them physically in hand. On feet, I don't care who you are; those first 5-10 minutes are always cautious.

What are some of your favorite creators/designers or brands and why?

First and foremost, Jerry Lorenzo. I'm a big "Jerry-Boy," if you haven't noticed already. Apart from him, Teddy Santis has done amazing jobs for New Balance!

Lastly for my Filipino people, it has to be Rhuigi Villasenor. He's exceeded himself and has always shown his humble beginnings from where he's been and come from. I always love a story like his. It's truly inspiring!

What is one sneaker collaboration that doesn’t exist, but you wish/think should exist?

I would love to see a collaboration between A Ma Maniere with New Balance. Perhaps on the new upcoming 1906D pair that will be released soon. Their signature colorway of that burgundy/blood red/fig would be dope on this type of model. I reckon it would propel AMM into absolute hysteria.

What are some of the current pairs of sneakers in your rotation?

A Ma Maniere x Air Jordan 3s is a classic silhouette with great collaboration. New Balance "Refined Future" (Protection Pack - Rain Cloud) for comfort. My by-the-door sneakers are Air Jordan 1 Mochas and 2015 Chicago AJ1s. What kind of sneaker collector would I be without some hype, the OG Travis Scoot Air Jordan 1?

What is your ultimate holy grail sneaker that you have not managed to acquire so far?

Hahaa! I'll probably never hold this in real life, but the Undefeated x Air Jordan 4 has always been on my radar. I've seen them from afar but have never touched them physically. What a pair, they're timeless, and I'm a sucker for an olive type colorway.

Other than kicks, what are some of your daily essentials or treasured items?

I'm a big hat collector and have been for some years now. I've traveled to several continents looking for specific Fitted/Snap Back caps, and the journey of acquiring caps has not slowed down.

Most recently I visited the Hat Club store in NYC to catch an Astro-fitted cap, and that's now in heavy rotation. I had an ATL Hawks snapback signed by Kenny "The Jet" Smith when he visited London, and that, too, is one of my prized possessions (despite him only spending 1 season there in 1990, LOL).

Where can people find you on social media?

Instagram: @merklemoeman_

Youtube: Merkle MoeMan

Do you have a sneaker collection that you wish to showcase or share with the world? Or maybe you have some hyped deadstock that you wish to sell. Join Ox Street as an early community member in our beta stage today and get $25 SGD off your first order (while discount slots last).

An engineer who loves writing in her spare time.