editorialinterviewsbuying Guidesselling guidespromotions
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Michael Juaneza - Ashen Oak Co-Founder Interview


Camille Lumogdang
December 5, 2022

Growing up during the second Chicago Bulls three-peat era makes Michael @mrashenoak fascinated with Michael Jordan's sneakers. Seeing a lot of sneaker collaborations with streetwear brands inspired him to create his brand - Ashen Oak; his mission is to make any person can wear it!

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

I grew up in the second Chicago Bulls three-peat era and started to be fascinated with Michael Jordan's sneakers. My first ever sneaker was the Jordan 12 "Taxi." I was in Grade 6 and wore it to the ground on the schoolyard hooping.

This became a yearly thing in which I would cop the Jordan 13 "He Got Game" the following year.

All images via @mrashenoak

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

For me, it is the camping for releases. It started with hours, then eventually led to days; when the Yeezy 2 "Red Octobers" were released, it turned into weeks. Now we are in the era of raffles and online releases.

I was proud to experience the highs and lows of camping for sneakers. The chase of that coveted pair and to cop made it all worthwhile, only to do it the week after for the next release.

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

The thrill and the awe when that box is opened is one of the best feelings for a sneakerhead. In addition, when all you have to do is just marvel at its sight, especially when it is a coveted pair.

I heard you're the co-founder of Ashen Oak which focuses on streetwear. Could you tell us more about it? How did you start this brand?

I started Ashen Oak after being inspired by the sneaker collaboration with streetwear brands. The whole culture of not being competition, but rather a community and family with the one common goal of creativity for style and expression.

We started off with minimalistic prints back in 2017 and have now evolved into a lifestyle brand that mixes basketball and fashion. Caters to both men and women, as well as accessories.

What's your vision and mission with Ashen Oak?

The brand has now grown online and opens its flagship store in Docklands, Melbourne, Australia next month.

The mission is to continue to follow our tagline and be a brand that can be worn by any person.

"For The Future. For the World."

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

It has to be Ronnie Fieg at Kith for me. One of the designers that no doubt is known not to be phased by trends and evolution.

Kith exactly does what its culture is, what it likes to do. The other thing I love is his attention to detail and the quality of Kith's products.

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

I have to be biased here. My clothing brand Ashen Oak would love to collaborate with one of the major sneaker brands. It was inspired by collaborations with brands like Undefeated, Kith, and Supreme.

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

I have around 130 pairs that I wear. I have beaters like the Yeezy 350 "Zebra" for comfort and the Jordan 1 "Crimson Tint" as common in my rotation.

As much as I would love to wear them every day, the Lebron x "Cork" is a must-have. I mainly have one and three models of the Air Jordan in my rotation.

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

No doubt, this would be the Air Jordan 4 "Manila."

Being of Filipino heritage, this no doubt is close to home. The limited quantity, of course, and the eye-popping resell price are undoubtedly a stumbling block, but this is the ultimate holy grail for me.

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

It has to be my apparel. I create and design my brand with inspiration from my lifestyle. It strongly revolves around the sneaker culture and its extension into sport and entertainment.

Where can people find you on social media?  

Instagram: @mrashenoak and @ashenoakclo

TikTok: @mrashenoak

An engineer who loves writing in her spare time.