Jappy Agoncillo explains the design of DON Number 3


THERE IS ONE subtle detail you won’t immediately notice when wearing the DON Issue #3 “Origin Story” colorway. In a shoe that almost screams with vibrant colors and raucous patterns, this little element is almost drowned out, but it still says a lot about the thought that went into the design of the shoe.

The phrase “determination over negativity” (Utah goaltender Donovan Mitchell’s mantra and the origin of the name DON) is printed on a rubber band above the pair’s bright orange laces. The problem is that it’s printed the wrong way round, meaning you can only read it correctly if you’re looking at the shoe from the heel…or if you’re actually wearing the shoe.

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“I wanted [this motto] to face the wearer so if you’re in a game or if you’re in a gym and you’re training hard, and you’re tired, you look at your sneakers and [that phrase] is a reminder to yourself that this is what matters,” said Jappy Agoncillo, a Pinoy street artist who designed “Origin Story.”


How Jappy Agoncillo Designed The Colorway For Donovan Mitchell’s Iconic Shoes

The awareness of the shoe as a tangible, worn object was both the best and the worst aspect of shoe design. Agoncillo is best known as a muralist, splashing large, colorful comic-inspired artwork onto walls, so the idea of ​​a sneaker as a canvas was something very new to him.

“Instead of drawing something flat, [where] you look at it from an angle and that’s it, it’s really, how do I make it look good in all these other dimensions? Agoncillo said Spin.ph during a press roundtable at the launch of DON’s issue 3 “Origin Story”.

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It’s also why this colorway is so brash and unapologetic – even for a sneaker silhouette that’s never been known for its subtlety. Simply put, the artist wanted the shoe to stand out.


“When I designed it, part of the design was also: what would it look like on a basketball player’s feet, especially in a game?” he explained.

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“It’s chaos, everyone is running, the clock is ticking, you’re taking pictures and I wanted the shoe to stand out. Part of the decision I made with the shoes was that I wanted them to are spotty nosebleeds from the arena, which is why I gave it bright accents and a white midsole and all that.

Even so, the final product is already a watered down version of some of the craziest ideas Jappy Agoncillo initially sketched out.

“It was sometimes a bit too strong,” he admitted to reporters with a smile. Still, the changes made during the year-long process made it, in the end, a better shoe. “Less is more.”

The adidas DON Issue #3 “Origin Story” is available now for P5,800 at adidas.com.ph and select stores.

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