Rafa X Rene – For The Love Of...
December 2, 2014

When one’s passion for shoes is shared with a significant other, it becomes more special and cherished. Each pair becomes more than what it is. A couple’s collection becomes a museum of their respective tastes, celebrating their personalities as individuals and as a tandem. Meet the #shoephoric duo behind Brick and Mortar. Totally awesome from both their respective fields, Rafa Rodrigo is the tastemaker/ entrepreneur behind the lifestyle concept shop and Rene McHugh is Miss Philippines Earth Air 2010 and owner of La Vie Nail Spa, they have an interesting shoe collection with the diversity to match and an even more interesting story behind it. They do it for the love, and our conversation is further proof, read on...

So tell us, how did both of you get into the shoe hobby? Was it a part of your childhood that led to what it is now?

Rene - I got into the shoe hobby because of my boyfriend Rafael, I never really cared for what went on my feet, now I can appreciate the beauty of all types of shoes, be it flats, heels or sneakers.

Rafa - I may have gotten into the shoe hobby because of fashion and the love of design.

Who’s the bigger Shoephoric? Would you say your relationship with each other influenced your taste in shoes?

Rene - Rafa! For me yes, like I said earlier, Rafa is the reason I even care for shoes at all.

Rafa - I would say me, I am insanely addicted to shoes, so mostly me. Our choices vary from one another's style preferences, but mostly me influencing her to buy more and more and even more shoes.

Do you make that conscious effort to match each other's pair? Be it by style, color or shape?

Rene - No way! But sometimes it happens by mistake.

Rafa - Sometimes we do! LOL!

Would you agree on the good old saying “You can tell a lot about a person with their shoes”? If so, what does your shoe game tell about you?

Rene - No I don't believe that. I believe it’s all in a person's nails, honestly. Some people can't afford great looking shoes but it doesn't mean they don't have a wonderful personality.

Rafa - Sums it up :)

Name the top 5 picks in your collection...

Rene –

Alejandro Ingelmo Heels
Alexander Wang x H&M Heels
Cole Haan Boots
Charlotte Olympia 

Rafa ( In no particular order) –

Rick Owens Tech Runner - Insane design but really comfy and has amazing support.
Valentino Rock Stud Camo - New Classic for the designer Market.
Jordan 4 Pure Money - May have triggered my addiction, I've had 3 pairs of these. "just so clean"
AM90 Duck Camo - The color and material combination.
Alejandro Ingelmo T14 - Tony Stark wears Alejandro Ingelmo, may not have anything else in common with Iron Man than being billionaires, might as well be the shoes! Kidding aside, they are well made and they stand out!
Ticsci x Nike AF1 - Givenchy + Nike = shoephoric!
Y3 Qasa - Tubular = Design and comfort!

That may be more than five and I can still go on and on about shoes, but I might already have a few more favorites to add by then! LOL!

Have you guys experienced that one particular pair that has avoided you the most? Is the white elephant in your target list?

Rene - I have no idea, I've never really experienced this.

Rafa - Probably the Maison Martin Margiela High top future iced black, I passed on these when I had the chance and now I can't stop looking back!

Moving on to your shop Brick and Mortar, did it stem directly from shoe love? Or was it more from a fashion / clothing angle?

B&M was the fruit of my love for fashion and Architectural/Interior design.

What makes your shop different from other lifestyle concept shops? What else do you carry?

The stuff we carry I personally curate and choose so it's never just about the money, it's about selling the customers what they would like or at least what they should like (just kidding) for example a lot of stores carry joggers and most of them have US sizing, the length alone is always 2-3 even 4 inches longer than how it should fit for Filipinos, we have em' adjusted most of the time before hand for Outkast Paradigm Jogger brand and if you want standard length we have Kirv Apparel. We even sell Air-fresheners that are actually not SHAPED LIKE TREES, that smell pretty awesome at the same time as well as some accessory brands that you can only get through us.

For you what does "Shoephoric" mean? What makes you Shoephoric?

Rene - An addiction to footwear.

Rafa - It doesn't mean having lot or having what everyone wants, It's about having what you want, what you like, it's about the appreciation of the shoe itself or even the story of how you got the shoe.

It should never be about the brand it should be about the shoe itself.

Got a message for our community?

Yeah, shoes are what we love and what makes us happy but there are a lot more important things in life. - said the guy with a pretty big shoe collection.


Shoutouts? Or anything to promote?

Rene - My Nail Spa! Right next door to Brick and Mortar, La Vie!

Rafa - Shout out to my mom whom I would not have what I have without her.
And to my love Rene "The whole world can be made of all kinds of the best shoes, even mountains of them and the world would still be empty without you!"