Fashion

Quiccs and Adidas Release Filipino-Flavored Harden Vol. 5 'Manila Heritage' Just in Time for Independence Day

Clad in the colors of the Philippine flag.
IMAGE MIKKO ABELLO, ADIDAS
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This Independence Day weekend, global sportswear giant Adidas and Filipino toy designer Juanito Maiquez, the visual artist more famously known as Quiccs, will be launching the much talked about “Manila Heritage” colorway of the Adidas Harden Vol. 5 Futurenatural. As you most probably have already heard, Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden broke out this special release of his signature shoe in Game 3 of their first round Playoffs series against the Boston Celtics in late May. 

Clad in the colors of the Philippine flag, the basketball shoe is given a unique treatment that is distinctly Quiccs.

Photo by Mikko Abello.

“I didn’t have a clue that he would wear it that day. I would imagine he would wear it someday but we didn’t know he’d wear it that soon so we were caught off guard,” Quiccs recalls of the morning he woke up to the news of his creation making it to the floor of an actual NBA postseason game and on the feet of his favorite Adidas basketball athlete.

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“It was (around) 8:30 to 9 a.m. My younger sister messaged me to watch the game. We were very surprised, very happy, and very excited,” he shares.

Manila Heritage

The “Manila Heritage” is rich in iconography and takes cues from one of the more popular iterations of Quiccs’ flagship toy.

“At its core, the main inspiration of the shoe is the Manila Killa TEQ63, my character which wears the colors and symbols of the Philippine flag,” he explains. “Yellow for pag-asa (hope), blue for freedom, and red for sanduguan (blood and valor).”

Photo by Mikko Abello.

A prominent design element in Quiccs’ interpretation of the Harden Vol. 5 Futurenatural is +63, the country code of the Philippines, which can often be seen in his many creations and adorns the medial side of the shoe’s upper. “It’s the logo that’s usually on the forehead of TEQ63 and my other characters,” he adds. 

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The date 6.26.19 on the lateral side of the shoe’s collar marks James Harden’s last visit to the Philippines. Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao are given props with the presence of three yellow dots, or stars, on the heel tab area. Quiccs’ artworks of his beloved TEQ63 and The Beard can be seen on the outsole of the left and right shoes respectively. 

“I was fortunate enough to be allowed to use the semi translucent version of the sole and for me to be able to play with the sole itself and put some artworks in it,” he says. “That’s sort of a tribute to him. A robot version of James Harden.” 

Photo by Mikko Abello.

Being the first ever Filipino to break through and design Adidas footwear, Quiccs commemorates this milestone by adding his logo and signature crossbones on either side of the shoe’s heel counter.

“I kind of made sure to take this chance for me to be able to represent myself as an artist with this shoe,” he says. “That was one of the things that I loved about James Harden wearing it. It was surreal for me to see my name, my logos, and the TEQ63 aesthetics in an NBA game.” 

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“In Adidas, we believe that Impossible is Nothing,” says freshly minted Brand Communications and Sports Marketing Manager of Adidas Philippines JD Cortez. “This piece of footwear is a testament to that belief and we are extremely grateful and proud of how beautiful and, moreover, meaningful, this collaboration came to be. It’s more than a shoe. Personally, it makes me proud to be Filipino knowing that a kabayan created this with us and knowing that we can do so much more. It just feels really good to have something to help uplift the Filipino spirit especially in these times. Again, really proud of this masterpiece that shares our Manila Heritage story.” The shoe is brilliant storytelling through well-thought-of design. 

Made in Manila. Made for the world

Maiquez was raised back in the days when Japanese robots were all the rage and when it was undoubtedly the undisputed golden age of hip hop. Yeah, I said it. Fight me.

“I was heavy into watching Voltes V, Daimos, and Bioman growing up in the 80s,” he says. “In the 90s, I loved hip hop and graffiti culture. All of these inspirations, I combined into making my own brand,” he says “I had that goal of building a brand around my art representing these cultures and one of the main icons that I usually put in my toys is the adidas Superstar because it’s very iconic in hip hop culture. It was popularized by Run-D.M.C. and they were really heavy into the Superstars. Since Day 1, when I conceptualized TEQ63, he was already wearing Superstars.” 

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James Harden wearing the Manila Heritage colorway of the Adidas Harden Vol. 5 Futurenatural

Photo by Adidas.

A proud alum of La Salle Green Hills and Ateneo de Manila University, Maiquez recalls how he and the Three Stripes go way back. “I’ve been sporting the Superstars since college. That’s why it’s natural for me to put them in my toys. It kind of represents who I am,” he remembers of his earlier years. “In the back of my mind, I had that dream that someday, I hope Adidas would notice me. Last year when they approached us, it was a very big dream come true for me.”

Kanye West. Pharrell Williams. Jonah Hill. Nigo. Jerry Lorenzo. These are just some of the names Quiccs finds himself among as an Adidas creator. Pretty good company if you ask us, but more importantly, this exciting design visionary is carrying our flag in more ways than one.

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Photo by Mikko Abello.

“I’m super honored,” he says. “At the same time, I’m from the Philippines so I get to represent my country. Those names are very influential for us independent artists so I’m very honored to be part of that roster in the Adidas family.” There are already rumors of another  sneaker in the works and we can’t wait to see what he’s got for us next.

The adidas Harden Vol. 5 Futurenatural “Manila Heritage” will release on Saturday, June 12 at Adidas stores, adidas.com.ph, and on the Adidas app. SRP is P7,000.

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