The arrival shot. The post-game fits. Looking good before and after games was merely a mirage in Philippine basketball culture - something that wasn’t much of a deal. What mattered was just looking good on the court and letting their games do the talking.
But today, all of that is slowly changing and basketball streetwear has ascended from an overrated idea to a necessary obligation. Players, nowadays - from the pros to the boys, the bright lights to closed doors, want to look good not just on the court, but also outside of it.
Former UPIS Junior Maroon and now a Fighting Maroon Matt Santiago is one who has greatly pushed for this cause.
He has been under the radar all his life and aside from his game, he uses his fashion as an outlet of expression. “I want to be known for being the underdog on and off the court because I've been in this situation ever since where people slept on me. Whatever it takes, I'll keep showing myself that I could be the best.”
Santiago gets his fitspiration from someone whose nickname speaks for itself, Swaggy P. “Nick Young is the 1st player who really influenced me to dress. He has been consistent on his clothing wear ever since he started playing in the NBA. When he was traded to the Lakers, social media really focused on him because of his fashion taste and trends.”
Matt, with drips filing his Instagram feed, is cashing in on the LOOK good vibe. His fits is a metaphorical suit of armor that makes him FEEL good. “San lakad?” is what critics might say, some even thinking that his fashion is overrated. But in a nod to Swaggy P’s brand Most Hated, he doesn’t care one bit.
This is why Matt is the staple for Sumptuous and KOTC Clothing. He embodies their joint mission of self-worth and empowerment in the game - a catalyst if we may, of the wave that’s about to hit Philippine basketball culture.
With a vision of red carpets, camera flashes, and the media hustling to keep pace, the name Matt Santiago will be synonymous to a style icon who redefined fashion from the hardwood to the blacktop, much like his favorite AF1 Triple Whites that carved its timeless legacy.
Soon, the bowels of every basketball court will be no different from a runway of New York, Milan, or Paris.
Written by: Javi Palaña & Cholo Legisma, 05/26/2021