2016 Shoe Design Contest Entries and Winners

I know this post has been long overdue, I apologize to the winners as we started the year with vacation lag and its taking a bit of time for the team to catch it’s rhythm again. Last December 2016, I announced that we will have a design contest with the theme Shoes for the Modern Pinoy Gentleman in which the prize would be the realization of the shoes designed by the winners. We had only a four official entries so I decided that since they took the effort to participate, and I really appreciate it, all the four entries would be declared as winners of the contest.

We will be contacting the winners for a fitting schedule once I verify if we have records of their foot traces still for their personal BWS custom. The winners for the 2016 contest are Erick Viray, Francis Floro, Armike Bengco, and Lance Pena. I will be posting here what they send and their write-up for the contest. Hopefully We can finish the shoes by April of this year then will make another short post about it. Congratulations to the winners!

Erick Viray – Mixed Leather Double Monk Strap

It took me quite some time thinking of a shoe design for this contest about “The Modern Pinoy Gentleman.” And here I am, cramming the write-up for my entry. Honestly, I never took “menswear” seriously until about two years ago. I’ve been following Black Wing Shoes but I haven’t tried them yet, so I’m only armed with what I’ve seen and read on the Internet. With that in mind, and when the contest was announced, I started to consciously take note of the shoes that guys are wearing while walking around Makati.


While most guys are indeed wearing the usual boxy loafers (which I did too, of course!), one can spot derbies and even oxfords from your office workers. Younger folks would wear brogued versions of these shoes, while the old guard can be spotted wearing loafers. Then, there are the odd single monkstraps and even leather shoes that sport velcro straps. But if there’s one shoe that I rarely see, it has to be double monkstrap. Yes, I’ve seen some guys trying them on while I’m window shopping and there are pictures of local menswear bloggers who wear them, but I’ve never seen anyone actually walk around with double monks (or maybe I’m just not in the right places at the right times).

Regardless, I think that double monks should be sported by more guys because of three reasons, the first reason is most guys here are inclined to wear slip-ons, which should be right up their alley (the elasticed straps shouldn’t be a chore to work with, right?) and the second being that wearing double monks can set you apart from our other menswear conscious individuals. With these two reasons, the double monk can be a good pick for guys who want to start out with wearing dress shoes, or inspire others to try out a different style. Then I chose black as the shoes’ color because it’s the default go-to and safest color considering the office get up of most guys. But in order to provide some flair, I thought of going for mixed media. Considering the options provided, I chose calf pull side for the lower part and calf napa for the upper in order to provide some contrast (which I hope will work!) I didn’t add any brogueing because I think that the line where the leathers meet already provide a clean but smart look. For the last, I was debating whether I should choose IO16 or HB16 with my limited knowledge, but I ultimately chose IO16 because I thought that for the purposes of the direction I chose, the shoe should be somewhat tame with the toe while maintaining some sleekness. Considering these factors, I believe that my entry is a good candidate for “The Modern Pinoy Gentleman” because the double monkstrap is good choice for anyone, really.

Oh, but I mentioned that I have three reasons, right?  The third and final reason is that the double monkstrap is the first real dress shoe that I bought for myself! I think it’s a great, stylish shoe and the people should try them out.

Francis Floro – Brogue Plain Toe Oxfords

Every modern Filipino man needs a classic oxfords in his footwear rotation.This style is a classic plain toe oxfords for a classic and very versatile with a Napa leather and Bronze color. This oxfords has also Brogueing stitching to appease a modern Filipino which has a keen for intricate design.Like every Modern Filipino, this will definitely stand out paired with your Business attire, tailored trousers or even with your denim on a normal day.


Armike Bengco – Chukka Boot Captoe w/ Medallion

Having an entrepreneurial role I find myself always trying to look my best while still abiding the societal standard of style. I found inspiration from western culture to present myself at the highest level but I feel limited to the local climate. So my challenge last year was to find balance between style and comfort while still maintaining the classic approach.

I imagined this design to be a classic and stylish boot. Being a modern Pinoy gentleman for me is being true to himself and true to his roots. I visualized a cap toe with brogueing of three stars and a sun. I want to see the classic Chelsea boot in its simplest form. Being modern for me isn’t having to cook up new looks and invent styles because trends come and go. For me being a modern Pinoy gentleman is about having the respect of nodding for what has been great for generations. Reinventing the old to bring new ideas forward.


Lance Pena – Sporty Formal Hybrid

Filipinos are very hardworking people and are always on the go. They spend most of the time of the day outside doing their job. In this very active lifestyle, we always look for ways to make our work easier for us. One of the factors to consider in dealing with our daily routine is our footwear. There are different types of footwear for different types of activities, and these activities all happen throughout the day. For example; having to attend a meeting at the office, with your formal shoes, then going outside for a site visit wearing comfortable sneakers. You deal with the hassle of bringing more than one shoe going to work. In order to answer these problems, this footwear is designed to be a combination of a formal shoe, which you can wear in the office, and a sneaker type of shoe for the comfort and durability factor. It takes the shape of contemporary sneakers for the modern touch while the material and patterns present in the uppers give it the classic look. Essentially a slip on shoes to give the user an easier and faster way of wearing them. The laces are added to provide more hold on to the feet and more style. The sole is patterned on running shoes and provides good cushioning for the foot for long hours of working.



So there you have it folks, the winners for last years design contest. Am hoping to make this an annual thing as soon as I iron out the kinks in our processes so that it will go smoother and faster on the next contest. Am targeting to finish these before April and will post the shoes with their owners once they come to get it.

Thank you for all your support!


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