“I’m not new to this shit. I come from the old SoHo. Clientele, DQM, Union, Stussy; they used to have a big ass store where Adidas Originals is now, and Nort Recon – where this Filipino girl, Kandice worked at… she was the most fire ting I’ve ever seen in my life. Also back when Wendy’s on Broadway across from Blades was where you’d see everyone.”
In 2004 Joe walked the Jamaica, Queens streets, where mix tapes were the way New Yorkers jumped on new music. Hitting up a Jamaican spot for a beef patty with coco bread was a treat, and shopping sneaker stores before the ever trending resale culture was the wave. Joe brought us back to putting sneakers on layaway; yes he took it there. He always thought of himself as a creative. Starting, and being the first to win the Most Creative award in grade school. Joe describes himself being the token Filipino back then. He stood out, and still does. The outlandish outfits are what drew the BF team to Joe. After a day walking the streets of Soho, we learned that Joe’s outfits might be the loudest thing about him. He’s reserved, chill, and downright down to earth. He didn’t come off as cocky which some might expect. So we thought, how does an introvert scream so loud? Well Joe expresses himself in the way he dresses.
“I’m usually set on a color palette for my outfit, so its pretty easy to put things together. Sometimes, I have to just assume certain colors will work… because I’m actually colorblind. So far, I’ve been aight (laughs). I like to incorporate a lot of neutral colors and mix in blush, coral and pink. If I do anything vibrant like red or yellow, I make sure I have pieces that stand out to go with whatever garments I have. I like a uniformed look, but mainly I just mix and match different designers. I express my creativity and expression through what I wear.”
BF: Who’s your favorite artist?
Joe: ” Takashi Murakami- one of my favorite artist, I got familiar with him from Kanye’s Graduation album. I got him to draw the Kanye Graduation Bear on my Vans Murakami dust bag; He drew one for me and I asked for another for my best friend and he said that’s a little difficult to draw again right now, but he did it anyway. That was so dope of him, even being slightly annoyed with my request. So that’s something I have to hang up in my place. Now he’s very popular but I been on this shit. I did not get on Murakami because of complex con. (Joe Laughs) ”
“One of my chain pendants is Majin Buu, it’s a custom piece. I say he’s my alter ego; he’s fat and loves food. Always smiling but once he’s ticked off he can go 0-100. (Joe Laughs) He kinda represents my Gemini traits.”
“Before being a ‘sneaker-head’ was a trend, it was a lifestyle. ISS (now known as SoleCollector), BapeTalk, Super Future and NikeTalk were just a few of the markets before Grailed and StockX came out. Today what’s ‘hype’ is easily accessible but I came from a culture that was more than social media and the Internet. You really had to know what you were looking for… I’ve been true to this my whole life.”
BF: Best and worst purchase?
Joe: ” My best purchase is my Ninja Foodi Air Fryer, I’d say my Dior socks is my worst, they were one of my more expensive socks and I spent more on them when i went to Seoul Korea because they were sold out in New York. I wanted them for my fit at the time. Also I keep forgetting they’re socks so they’re delicate. It started to abrade on the sides from wear. ”
BF: When can we expect to see something from you?
Joe: ” I’m working on a Capsule Collection, essentials but also some cut and sews. I know women is a big demographic I would love to cater to women too. Before it was very cool for women to be tomboyish, I already saw the market for it. I wouldn’t want to exclude anyone I want it to be for everybody. I’ll say in the next 6 months you’ll see more from me ”
“Jamaica, Queens really made me who I am. I was like 13 years old running around the colosseum block trying to find the best deal on the newest sneakers. I would take the little money that I had and put half of it down on a pair of sneakers on layaway.”
BF: Peace or Happiness?
Joe: ” I think when seeking happiness there’s a lot of hurt and heartache that comes along with it. I feel as if finding peace it’s much easier because your just obtaining your tranquility and where and what keeps you most calm. My anxiety really comes from the pressure I constantly put on myself to be a better version of myself. Sometimes I just need to chill and that’s why I’m always seeking peace and that’s “peace of mind” ”
Click through below to see Joe walking the streets of Soho. @de_veranyc
Photographer: Gio Haddock