Who Is Bigboy Cheng and Why Is He Suddenly Doing Food Vlogs?
Christian “Bigboy” Cheng is a guy who wears many hats. His current one is probably a Supreme-labeled cap or A Bathing Ape beanie or a regular baseball cap. From being a DJ, to art influencer, businessman and now food vlogger, Cheng has amassed a very large following on social media. Lately, he’s even put up his own Youtube channel under Bigboy Cheng.
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Cheng, of course, is perhaps best-known for his shoes. His collection of ultra-rare sneakers and streetwear is so legendary that international vloggers would sometimes show up in his doorstep and do a video of his home and vast collection of shoes and hypebeast stuff.
But who is he exactly?
Who is Bigboy Cheng
Bigboy Cheng is the scion of the country’s biggest foam producer Uratex. For almost 50 years, Uratex has been a market leader in foams and mattresses. Established by his parents Robert and Natividad, the company now has 21 plants nationwide and also supplies its produsts to numerous clients in the hotel and furniture industry.
The company has since branched off to other businesses ranging from automotive original equipment manufacturing, real estate, textile, food packaging and has excelled in all these markets. The success that the family has worked hard to achiev has allowed the younger Cheng to indulge his quirks and luxuries, leading him to become a popular local streetwear icon.
It is said that the value of Cheng’s shoe collection based on today’s estimates exceeds $1million. One of the most popular shoes in his collection is the Marty McFly Nike shoes from Back to the Future. Another of his most recent acquisitions was a pair of Air “Dior-dans,” in which he reportedly dropped over P850,000 for a pair.
Aside from his very extensive (and expensive) ultra-rare shoe and streetwear collection, Cheng also has the craziest and most outrageous collection of Supreme branded collab products. From pinball machines, toolboxes, to Rimowa and Louis Vuitton luggage (he has the whole set including the travel trunk), he even has a Supreme x Coleman mini motorbike and Supreme x Everlast boxing equipment in his personal basketball court/gym inside his house.
But what many people don’t know is that, just like the foam his family business produces, Cheng also has a soft heart. One YouTube fan commented, “He was like that one kid we all knew growing up who had a lot of toys and the best stuff and being so cool about it letting other kids borrow it and touch his stuff. He’s not showing off, very humble man. I like that he wears all his sneakers.”
Toys for the Bigboy
Being fond of bigtime rare sneakers intertwines with the world of art toys, which he also collects. Cheng’s Bearbricks are lined up throughout his home like a bunch of terra cotta warriors of China. He’s been collecting vintage and art toys for decades and has his house full of his them. When we asked him how much he got for a very mint single-box Popy Voltes V diecast toy set from the 1970s, he said it came to very close to seven figures.
Before we pass judgement on him for spending all that money to acquire anything that pleases him just because he has the means to, it can be argued that he is actually a very astute collector, with many of the things he has acquired over the years just growing in value.
In fact, Cheng opened the Secret Fresh gallery to house and trade modern art pieces. He also put up RIF, a retail store specializing in limited edition and high value streetwear. Both are located in his building, the Ronac Center along Ortigas Avenue, Greenhills, San Juan.
Being in the pop art scene and toy collecting community, Cheng has also managed to engineer a lot of collaborations with local and foreign artists. His taste in art has led him to acquire pieces that have exponentially increased in value over time. One of the more interesting finds was a sketch by the artist Banksy, which he said he bought almost 20 years ago. Banksy gained worldwide notoriety when his “Girl with Balloon” artpiece was shredded in front of a gasping audience.
One of Cheng’s most successful artist collabs was with National Artist Benedicto “Bencab” Cabrera, when the former’s Secret Fresh gallery unveiled a limited edition turntable and streetwear collection.
A love for food
Cheng’s taste in art is only matched by his taste and love for food. In recent months, he started regularly posting food vlogs featuring local food places. Since then, many restaurateurs and food business owners, mostly his friends or referred by friends at first, who are aware of his large social media following, would offer to give Cheng samplers, hoping he would promote them in his vlogs.
But unlike many other so-called “influencers,” Cheng chooses to decline offers of free food in exhange for exposure.
“I always pay for my orders, because I do this to help out entrepreneurs and put the word out there to try out their food, wspecially in these pandemic times,” Cheng says.
I would know this for a fact, because once, I connected him to one of my friends who owns a ramen place and wanted to send some take-out for him to try. He replied by ordering over P5,000 worth of take-out and insisted on paying for it.
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Clearly, the guy’s not only a softie, but also has a big heart of gold.