49ers superstar teams up with Pinoy designers

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Feb 16 2013 11:02 AM | Updated as of Feb 18 2013 06:26 PM

SAN JOSE, California - He is the newest “It” guy of professional football. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is not only known for his athleticism.

This 25-year-old is also famous for his tattoos that are now immortalized on a limited edition t-shirt and hoodie, designed by Filipino brothers, Jason and Orly Loquiao, co-owners of Cukui, a clothing store located in San Jose, California that specializes in Philippine and tribal art.

Jason said, “The words, ‘Against All Odds’ are the tattoo on Kaepernick’s chest. On his back is a tattoo of St. Michael killing the devil. The design is our rendition of the tattoos that's on him.”

Kaepernick’s name and jersey number also interwoven into the design.

Jason said when he and Orly first got in touch with Kaepernick through a team barber a month ago, they never expected that the quarterback could increase their sales by 300 percent in only a matter of weeks, with 80 percent of purchases being made by new customers.

The limited edition t-shirt, which costs $32, and the $60 hoodie were sold just before the 49ers faced the Baltimore Ravens at the Superbowl last February 3.

Jason said, “We went into this project, not knowing that it would grow the business. It helped us tremendously to do more projects and work with other people in the future.”

Fans and followers of the Cukui design rushed to get the merchandise.

Pinoy fan Faron Nonato said, “It influenced me to know more about my culture. The design is really beautiful.”

Another fan, on the other hand, bought the Kaepernick-Cukui hoodie, which he said makes a statement of how loyal 49er fans can be, even if the San Francisco team lost to the Ravens.

Derek Umemoto said, “The real fans will always be Niners fans — no matter what, through thick and thin. I’ve been a fan since I was three years old and I’ve been in love with them ever since.”

The Locquiao brothers say while the Cukui-Kaepernick merchandise is limited edition and of limited quantities, they plan to collaborate once again with the beloved San Francisco 49ers quarterback in the near future.

After suffering defeat in the Superbowl, Kaepernick decided to get tattooed by Orly, who has been in the ink business for 17 years. The new tattoo is a banig (Philippine handwoven mat)-inspired design on his chest.