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Filipino Sneakerhead and Baller: Jarvis Santos

Interviews

Hapsari Listya
October 8, 2022

Growing up seeing his uncle and friends play basketball, Jarvis Santos @jah.bong was inspired to become the best basketball player in his team ever since. He always feels like a kid opening a Christmas present whenever get a new kicks even after he collecting sneakers for years!

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

I lived my childhood days in Manila way back 2000s. I grew up watching my uncle and his friends playing ball in the streets, wearing their flashy Nikes and Jordans in front of hundreds of people watching them. I told myself when I grew up, I wanted to have the best basketball sneakers and become the best player on the team. At the age of 10, I witnessed the impact of basketball and hip-hop on our society. We know both of them are aligned.

I still remember the moment when I joined my first league. My parents brought me to a sneaker outlet where they got me my first basketball shoe, the OG Jordan 13 Low Navy. I was so excited to play, and I wore them every day! Lol. But the pair that really got me into collecting sneakers is none other than Jordan 1 Breds and Jordan Son of Mars with the strap. Those were big before.

All images via @jah.bong

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

It was the time when I started watching NBA all-star weekend! Where players and rappers are getting involved and showing theirs never before seen sneakers on TV. We're talking about favorite NBA players like Iverson, Kobe, Tmac, and Young Lebron, and rappers like JayZ, Kanye, P.Diddy, Eminem, Breezy, and many more who are watching courtside! It made me realize that sneakers are much bigger than I expected. It is a part of culture and fashion that will forever stay in our lives.

Growing up and living in a third-world country, I knew we couldn't afford such shoes, and it was not our priority. That's why I always keep in mind to work hard and get the bread after. I know this culture will live for me forever, and I may pass it on to my son when he grows up.

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

I always feel like I'm a kid that opens a Christmas prezzie. It's like the time of the year that I've been waiting for. The feeling didn't change after years of collecting sneakers! Of course, I always do the fresh from the box sniff test; I think everyone does it.

It always feels fantastic whenever I suit a fresh pair of sneakers—it boosts my confidence and excitement to gear it up with a new style. But IMO, either you cop the pair for retail or resell, deadstock or used; as long it makes you happy, and you know you worked hard for it, that's all that matters. YOU DESERVE IT!

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

We cannot deny that if you are a sneakerhead, you once look after Ye and his creations. It opens the door for many designers. Virgil's works and his love for this culture and community. From where he started until he became the artistic director of LV is part of history. It showed us that we couldn't stop working until we get those dreams, and don't be scared; start creating. I also love the vibe of A Ma Maniere and Aime Leon Dore recently.

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

I have a few in my mind. When it comes to artist collab, I wanted to see Chris Brown collab with Jordans or Nike. I like the New Balance wave happening, so Sean Wotherspoon x New Balance. Aime Leon Dore's collab with Jordan 3 or 4 would be lit too!

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

On my recent rotation, it will be the Jordan 1 Neutral Grey 85 and Jordan 3 A Ma Maniere. I will add my New Balance 2002R Olive, Nike Airmax Patta Aquawave, Jordan 1 Mochas, and the Jordan 4 Bred.

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

Hmmm. My holy grail would be the Nike Air Yeezy Red October, and I don't know if this will come out, the Off-White Jordan 1 High Canary Yellow that is shown on display only. Crazy pair and crazy price too!

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

I always pair my fitted caps with my sneakers as much as possible. I think it's one of the best duos when you are lazy to pick up what clothes you are wearing. I am also looking after sunglasses recently as I noticed it gives a bit of a vibe to my style.

Where can people find you on social media?

Instagram: @jah.bong

TikTok: @j.ravis

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 ailurophile who loves bake cookies and listen to indie music!