When you see a Ferrari, Maserati, or Jaguar roaming the streets or zooming through the expressway, you’re bound to turn your head in admiration, just like the rest of us. There’s just no matching the extravagance it exudes which make us gape in awe, no matter how old we are. Luckily, we now enjoy local access to these world-renowned, luxury automotive brands thanks to Autostrada Motore Inc.
From afar, the automotive industry and sneaker community may seem quite unrelated but they actually operate on the same energy for the latest technology and innovation, undisputed craftsmanship, and cutting-edge design. Today, collecting sneakers, cars, or both, reflect a modern, jetsetter lifestyle. Autostrada Motore Inc. Executive Director Jason Soong lets SA’ICHI into his world filled with fast cars and sport-inspired lifestyle sneakers.
Jason has been into sneakers since his days at university. He’s always liked brands such as adidas, Nike, and Puma, but what really started his love and passion for sneakers was when he lived in New York for some time. After graduating from college, Jason went to the United States for a vacation but he eventually decided to stay a little longer. Despite being pretty well-off, he worked at a Puma store at Broadway for about a year to support his extended stay. “I was selling shoes, so that really got me into shoes and sneakers.” Even then, he had always been into cars as well. It didn’t necessarily mean expensive cars or sneakers; he was just an enthusiast for both.
It’s all about first loves and Jason fondly remembered some of his first pairs. “The first sneaker that I really fell in love with were the Flyknit Racers. Oh, I [also] liked [some of] the first collaborations with Puma. I think Puma was a game changer for taking the sneaker game to the next level, in terms of collaborations.”
He laughed at the question of how many pairs he currently owns. “I’m not sure. It’s not ‘crazy-a-lot’ but I’ve stopped counting.” At some point, we all have pairs we’ve regretted passing on or not having. For him, it’s the Flyknit HTMs. “Even if I wanted them, I couldn’t afford it.”
When copping a pair, Jason spills that the first thing he considers is the design. After that, there has to be some level of comfort. He’s always liked sneakers that are unique and looks sleek, similar to his taste in cars, confessing that he’s not really into bulky pairs.
As someone who lives and breathes in a place surrounded by indulgence, for Jason, there is a clear connection between luxury cars and lifestyle sneakers. “I think they go hand in hand now. Before, people with nice cars would sport nice watches and nice clothes. But now, a lot of my customers, when they come into the showroom, or when I see them, they’re all rocking rare sneakers. Young or old, they’re all into it [sneakers].”
Design-wise, Jason compares Flyknit Racers to the Maserati Ghibli in their dealership line-up. “I think they’re timeless, and they’re very sleek. It’s an Italian car, so it’s designed really well. And I feel like Racers will be something… I think Flyknit Racers are to be a staple for years to come.” If it comes down to it, Jason would wear the Racer in its Grey/Black OG colors for the rest of his life.
The young executive also gives his take on the sneaker scene for the next decade. “I think the technology will really push the sneaker game. For example, the quality of sneakers now is so different. Before, if you bought sneakers, and you didn’t wear them for a while, eventually they would crumble. But now, sneakers are made so well. At least, if you don’t use them for years, they’re still okay. The life span of sneakers is a lot longer now than they were before. Technology really will play a part in terms of design and function. Like with the BOOST which is a real game changer. There’s also eco-friendly, recycled parts. So I think that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s gonna be so much more coming soon including 3D printing and so on.”
Jason couldn’t be more proud of our passion for collecting sneakers and exotic vehicles as Filipinos. “Just like with everything else, I feel that the Filipinos are always somewhat a step ahead, in terms of fashion, and everything. A lot of people are surprised when they come to the Philippines. Filipinos are really into their cars. We know quite a lot about cars and also about watches. So I think that it’s supposed to translate into sneakers.”
He also shares with us his dream vehicle. “The ultimate dream car I think is the La Ferrari. Hands down, it’s the best car in the world right now. In terms of design, performance, and a big bonus is the resell value. So any car in it’s class doesn’t compare. The La Ferrari is sold for 1.2 million Euros. Now, I think it’s sold for six or seven million dollars.”
Aside from leading their Maserati business, Jason is also a DJ of Groove Manila, dropping beats of sophistication and novelty that would surprise and at the same time captivate you. You can look him up on Spotify and hear for yourself the immense talent this humble executive has to offer. It’s one heck of a refreshing ride.
Because of his position in a luxury automotive industry, you might think Jason Soong is just another snobby executive but his humility speaks for his accomplishments. Not only is he charming and talented, for SA’ICHI, he’s an inspiration to finding success in doing what you love while keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground. We asked him what makes him best in class and he just casually smiled at us. “My friends make me who I am.”
Jason invites everyone to come visit their showroom at The Fort anytime. Check out their superb line-up and catch a whiff of life in the fast lane. If you’re also into sneakers or music, a great chat won’t cost you a cent.
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