'Tayo ang may control': The artist behind Vans' winning custom sneaker competition explains his design

Nov 13, 2019

EXHIBITING a mature perspective on life, Nikko Pelaez’s winning design in the 2018 Vans Asia Custom Culture Competition (VACC) shows off his own take on how you can take control of your destiny.

His theme? Greek myth. “Kaya gods yung ginamit ko kasi gusto kong i-pwesto natin yung sarili natin as them, na tayo ang gods ng buhay natin," Pelaez shared with SPIN Life. "Tayo lang ang may control, at walang ibang dapat humawak sa mga desisyon natin. It is about being free to yourself, chasing what you love, and ignoring the negative vibes."

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This is the University of the East College of Fine Arts graduate's first time to join the contest. His concept bested over 10,000 other designs across Asia. But beyond the win and repping for the homeland, what’s more important for him is that his ‘visual message’ goes beyond borders.

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“’Yung message nung gawa ko, mas maraming naabot, tapos nasa sapatos pa, literal na naglalakad yung mensahe,” he said.

The first-ever Filipino designed Vans official release will drop on selected Vans store nationwide on Friday, November 15, 2019.

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The 23-year-old Pelaez considers this his biggest shot in his career as an artist. “First time ko sumali sa VACC, first time din ng Pilipinas mag-participate dito. International siya kaya masasabi ko na biggest shot so far, nagpapasalamat talaga ako sa bagay na ‘to sa buhay ko.”

Having chosen from a young age to follow the path of an artist, Pelaez has witnessed how the local art scene has grown.

“Nakakatuwa na habang tumatagal wala nang [naglo-look down sa amin], so masasabi ko na rin na maganda na ‘yung lugar ng sining sa bansa kahit papaano,” he said. “Ngayon, kapag nalalaman ng ibang tao na artist ako, mataas ang tingin nila sa ginagawa at sa trabaho ko.”

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