In streetwear, a brand’s lifestyle and attitude will always equate to their value and cred. It cannot exist on aesthetics alone. It requires a punch to the gut and a slap to the face of the status quo. Meet Casey and Kappo of Kontrabrand, known for their tongue in cheek graphics and inside jokes, if you know then you know... or at least you have an idea. We hung out with them lately for this feature and here’s out convo...
How did Kontrabrand start out? Can you give us a little background story?
K: Actually started out as a my merch for gigs when I was still doing the hypeman bit. Then Casey suggested for us to make it into an actual brand. Might as well diba.
Seems like some of your releases have inside jokes. Can you share some with us?
K and C: Oftentimes when Kappo arrives at his gigs, that's the usual complain of people around him. Too noisy, madaldal, manigay.
Kappo then decided to turn that into a positive rather than letting it affect him.
K: Ang Ingay Ingay Mo design doesn't really apply to anyone else except me. I kind of owned that my whole existence. Maingay talaga kasi ako to begin with so I mean if people want to state the obvious, why not put in on clothes.
Define culture... Define street in your words.
K and C: Culture kasi is a very general and broad term. But we like to think that it is whatever it is that you like. For example, Kappo and me, mahilig kami parehas sa 90s related stuff but not everything is the same, may experiences siya na he's the only one that can relate to it. Meron din ako at the same time. So basically it's diverse depende sa experience how you would appreciate or give "culture" meaning.
Kappo: Street kasi tinggin ko naman depende din sa nakakaappreciate eh. Parang di naman din same ang meaning ng street dito sa Pinas with the street ng ibang countries. Not unless may isawan din sa kalye ng ibang bansa. Mahirap siya bigyan ng definition kasi wala naman sa lugar yan, nasa nakakaappreciate. hehe
Casey: Iba-iba din kasi tayong lahat ng pinagdaanan so going back sa sinabi ni Kappo, depende yan sa nakakaappreciate. Basta something positive at productive yung ginagawa niyo sa "street" na yan, mapa-damit,sapatos,music or art pa yan, mga tao lang din makakapagbigay ng meaning diyan.
Drop your all time default/fave sneakers of all time.
Kappo: Air Tech Challenge (Hot Lava), Jordan 1 (Lahat ng OG Colorway), Jordan 3 Black Cement, Air Force 1, Adidas EQT
Casey: Air Force 1, Element React 87, Adidas Falcon, NMD
If Kontrabrand was to be worn by a celebrity, who would it be?
Kappo: Kuya Jobert. Kasi continental eh. hahahaha Ewan ko wala akong maisip kasi para sa lahat naman yan. Depende lang sa makakaintindi.
If your brand had a shoe, what model and designer would you pick?
K and C: We honestly haven't really thought about it. (Kappo) If I'm gonna get ahead of myself, syempre Tinker Hatfield pa din. Halos lahat ng silouhettes niya di nalalaos eh. I mean may hook siya so ayun.
What’s on your music rotation now?
Kappo: Queen, Run The Jewels, Frank Ocean,
Antarius, Sam Padrul, Phantom of the Opera Album
Casey: Queen, 80's and 90's love music. Basta lahat ng old music!
Gusto ko sya.
Kontrabrand is for?
Kontrabrand is for fun people.
Future plans for the brand?
Gagawa kami ng parachute saka jetpack. Joke lang. We're gonna be releasing a lot of stuff within the year. But as of now, relakrelak lang muna.
Thank you Shoephoric for the feature. Big shoutouts to Episodes.tv, The Third World, Savon Essentials, Everyone is the community. Maraming salamat if the person reading now is a person supporting. Thank you sa suporta.