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adidas Philippines collaborates with local artist anew for BYW Select Aral Cru “Alab ng Puso”—a tribute to Filipinos’ love for basketball

Shining the light once more on local artists, the brand’s latest hyperlocal collaboration recognizes the significance of basketball in Filipinos’ everyday lives

Red, white, blue, yellow…with a burning love for basketball. This is the inspiration that drove adidas Philippines to launch its newest hyperlocal release ADIDAS BYW SELECT ARAL CRU “ALAB NG PUSO,” eponymously named after the local graffiti trio, and the latest in the brand’s collaborations with local Filipino artists.

No longer strangers to the adidas community, Aral Cru—consisting of college friends turned co-artists Cinos, Frank, and Bvdot—began its relationship with the brand three years ago when they created a custom floor mural displayed at the basketball section of the adidas Brand Center in Glorietta. Today, their story comes full-circle as they find their designs coming to life once more with a basketball shoe collaboration.

With a concept that embraces the Filipino qualities of passion and grit, the silhouette—aptly themed Alab ng Puso—comes in a red-blue-yellow colorway inspired by the Philippine flag and also features a design language that speaks about the enduring and burning love Filipinos have for basketball. “The story behind Alab ng Puso is that it comes from the burning desire of Filipinos towards basketball. It’s deeply embedded in the hearts of the Filipino culture, […] and anywhere in the Philippines, whether the streets or remote islands, you would see a basketball court,” says Frank, one-third of the trio.

Conceptualized, designed, and produced in close collaboration between artist and brand, the end result is a silhouette that combines cultural designs and the street art and graffiti aesthetic. For one, the Philippine flag-inspired colorway is accented with splashes of orange, symbolizing the flame, or passion, of Filipinos for the game.

Aral Cru also ensured their style is not lost in the release. Both the forefoot and insole design are home to a unique spray paint gradient effect that makes use of the group’s signature approach. “The textures we used are a gradient achieved with spray paint, where transitions aren’t sharp. It has splatters, some subtle textures, and that became our main inspiration to incorporate into the design. In the color palette we used, we created a fade from red to yellow to make it look like it’s glowing or ablaze.

Hard to miss from the silhouette would also be the unique Alab ng Puso logo that the crew themselves produced exclusively for this collaboration. This interpretation sees the classic basketball outline encased in a heart-shaped design, and joined with a flame burning above it, representing Filipinos’ all-enduring love for the sport. Aral Cru also produced their own spin on adidas’ logo itself. The iconic adidas Badge of Sport is now splashed in red and orange, showcasing the brand and artist’s close relationship.

The latest in adidas’ hyperlocal release both serves as a tribute to basketball’s legacy in the Filipino community and as a way to continue the brand’s efforts in supporting local artists. Says Bvdot on the importance of shining the light on the local community, “I hope collaborating with local artists becomes even more normalized. I think it’s very progressive as a community and as a country—that’s really what it’s all about, right? To help each other, to uplift each other. This could also be an inspiration to someone, like a child who’s still studying, or maybe artists like us who also love basketball, and show them that there are many ways to express your love through art.

Wear your pride on and off the court with the BYW SELECT ARAL CRU “ALAB NG PUSO”, now available in select stores and retailing for P7,300. The hyperlocal line-up also comes with tees in black and white colorways, a cap, and socks all sporting Aral Cru’s touches.

For more information, visit @adidasph on Instagram and Facebook.

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Dexter Francis De Vera is a manila-based art director with over 20 years extensive experience in the media industry producing editorials and advertising, retail space design (store displays), and more. His inspiration has always been the most powerful and most influential segment of the design world—fashion. As managing editor, he is responsible for curating, developing and overseeing editorial and social media content for iEventetc. Keep in touch with Dexter through [email protected]