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Noni Cuyugan - Filipino Sneakerhead Interview


Hapsari Listya
May 14, 2023

Noni @nonicuyugan grew up receiving many Nike Shox packages from his aunt in Australia, which sparked his interest in sneakers. He enjoys buying new sneakers due to the fact they make him feel like a completely different person and ease his stress.

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

When I was a kid, my auntie used to send me a Nike Shox package from Australia, and my love for sneakers began. I learned to look for sneakers at thrift stores before purchasing the Nike SB Dunk Low 'Gumsole.'

During my trip to Hong Kong in 2017, I bought another pair of sneakers, and my obsession with sneakers has grown since then.

When the pandemic hit, I decided to sell some of my sneaker collections, because I did not want them to be damaged. We sneakerheads know if it is better to sell our pairs than to never use them. LOL.

All images via @nonicuyugan

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

The origin of sneaker hip-hop culture from the '70s to the '80s era. In my opinion, a sneakerhead is someone who has a passion for sneakers, tries to collect different pairs from various styles and brands, and most importantly, understands sneaker culture.

People who prefer only fame and popular sneakers, unaware of its historical context, experience a different outcome.

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

Currently my sneakers rotation are: Nike LDwaffle Sacai Clot/Undercover/Fragment, Vans Mismatch, Nike Dunk Lows, Nike Jeff Staple x Dunk Low Pro SB 'Panda Pigeon', Converse Chuck Taylor, Nike Offline Slip-On, and New Balance.

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

When I unbox and smell my new sneakers, I feel like an entirely new person. It always makes me smile because it feels amazing.

Besides relieving my stress, I am always thrilled to rock them.

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

Collaboration between Jeff Staple × Undefeated would be dope!

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

I appreciate Tadanori Yokoo due to its unique design. It is obvious that Yokoo's signature style of psychedelia and pastiche engages a broad range of contemporary visual and cultural phenomena in Japan.

I admire Jeff Staple as well. Since establishing his label in the 1990s, he has contributed a significant role in the transformation of the streetwear scene from a hidden subculture to a dominant cultural force, most often by adorning his creation with a pigeon.

What is the ultimate holy grail sneaker that you have not acquired so far?

Air Jordan 1 High Retro and Low's Travis Scott Fragments, Off-Whites, Air Forces, and Nike SB Dunks.

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

My tote bag includes my wallet, ATM card, watch, and phone. All my transactions with everything are there.

Where can people find you on social media?

Instagram: @nonicuyugan

An ailurophile who loves bake cookies and listen to indie music!