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Filipino Sneakerhead and WTAPS Fans: Andrew Baler

Interviews

Camille Lumogdang
September 18, 2022

Andrew @werdstyle sneaker obsession started when he was in high school after he got his first Adidas Superstar. He loves every Japanese brand, especially WTAPS! He would love to see collaboration between any global sneaker brands with local brands in the future.

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

It all started in high school; I had friends and classmates who were into sneakers but mostly basketball shoes. My best buddy had a massive collection of old and new fashion magazines back then; I borrowed a few from him then read them. I was fascinated by how the shoes look awkward but stand out when worn!

So, I got into something that would differentiate from my classmates who wore basketball shoes when it was wash day. I got my first pair; it was the Adidas Superstar, and that's how it started.

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

Definitely music and basketball; it gave me an eye opener to the sneaker world. The emergence of the Run DMC, Limp Bizkit (Fred Durst wearing the red, white superstar), Eminem, J. Timberlake, and Pharell is like today's new era. The 1990s were stacked with both culture and fashion.

All images via @werdstyle

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

For me, the exciting part is not wearing it. It's when you hunt and get a "W" on the pair you have been eyeing for a long time. Because when you have it, the excitement won't last long. Why? Simple, when you get another pair then the joy is over!

I'll share with you something that I always do: I won't buy a pair that released that year. Instead, I will buy the shoes when the hype is gone - although it's not hype sneakers. Most of the time I would cop a new pair after it's released one and half year and as long as it's still in my budget!

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

I have a lot because many good designers emerge every year in different parts of the world. I have been a WTAPS fan since the first time I saw the brand, but anything that is Japanese will catch my attention. Or anything that will suit my style regardless of the brand, I will wear it loud and proud.

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

A LOCAL sneaker brand collaborating with international brands would be exciting. Because we have been bombarded with global brands, I think it's time for us to be recognized.

Many of us have the mentality that if it isn't Nike or Adidas, I would say no. I fully understand because they are the OGs and TITAN of sneakers; the sneaker world has a vast culture that cannot be easily penetrated by a local brand, where checks and stripes swarm people.

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

I have NBs 990s, 991, and 576, Converse 70s classics and collabs, Vans classic and collabs like WTAPS, Supreme, Adidas, Puma, Asics, Nike, Jordans, Excelsior, Roas, Suicoke, Timbs, and World Balance to be honest.

I'm not really into hype sneakers, but I like shoes that can go all well with my style and outfit. If shoes suit my personality then I will definitely cop it!

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

Not a grail, to be honest; I think they are the Hoka One x Engineered Garments and the Nigel Sylvester Jordans. I have a lot in mind, but those I feel are more possible to cop than the others.

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

Oh, man!! I have a lot! It will be my haul of clothing that I rarely use, LOL! Jackets and pants are the most essential for me. I have this EPMD Stussy tee that cost over 150-200 dollars today, which I think is insane for an old tee.

Where can people find you on social media?

Instagram: @werdstyle

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.