Jazz Bonifacio, a Filipino based in Melbourne for over 20 years, designed this shoe for the Australia Olympic Team. Photo from the official Volley website.
It’s theÂ official opening ceremony shoe of the 2012 Australian Olympic TeamÂ for the London Summer Olympicsâ€”and it’s designed by a Filipino!
Jazz Bonifacio, 33 year-old and based in Melbourne for over 20 years is currently the head designer forÂ Volley Footwear, an iconic Australian brand created in 1939 and has been part of the country’sÂ richÂ sportingÂ history, Â known to be preferred by early Wimbledon players.
For the Australian Olympic Team, he thought of creating a comfortable, classic, stylish andÂ timeless piece of footwear specifically designed for the athletes to Â be worn during the Opening Ceremony and other casual occasions throughout the games. He bested other shoe artists in the country when the Australian Olympic Committee chose his design over other shoe artists in the country.
Australia takes the Olympics very seriously with much funding from their government. Since the 2000 Summer Olympics, Australia has placed fourth twice and sixth respectively (2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens , and 2008 Beijing) . And it is known to excel in Swimming with gold medalist Ian Thorpe,Â possiblyÂ the most famous athlete who will don Jazz Bonifacio’s design come opening of this year’s Summer Olympics in London (Jazz says they fitted him for a size 17 but he’s still yet to qualify for the games).
More than 300 Australian athletes are expected to be part of their contingent (The Philippines is lucky to reach 10!)
Filipino designer Jazz Bonifacio. Photo courtesy of Jazz Bonifacio.
HeÂ shared his enthusiasm with us when we spoke to him on our radio show Sakto with co-host Paolo Bediones on Radyo5 92.3 News FM. “As a footwear designer, it’s pretty much a big honor as a Filipino, especially to design the officialÂ casual footwearÂ of the Australian Olympic team.Â It’s probably one of my proudest moments.”
Jazz Bonifacio shows off his personal shoe collection. Photo courtesy of Jazz Bonifacio.
Jazz’s family moved to Melbourne when he was nineÂ , a year after his passion for shoes began and he was already then, an early shoe collector. Â He now has about 600 pairs of shoes that he modestly places at less than a million pesos worth.
Detail of the Australian Olympic Team's official Olympic ceremony opening footwear. Photo courtesy of Jazz Bonifacio.
In his design for Team Australia’s Olympic footwear, he includedÂ intricate detailing withÂ metallic gold aglets and eyelets, â€˜AUS 2012â€™ Volley lace holder with a metallic gold finish, and the laser engraved Olympic â€˜Crest and Ringsâ€™ tongue label
He studied Industrial Design in Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University in Melbourne, Australia
He’s married to a Filipina who also grew up in AustraliaÂ and is blessed with two daughters,Â Bianca, 2.5, and Zoe, 1.
Jazz believes the famous Imelda Marcos’ love for shoes runs in every Filipinos blood. He hopes that in the near future, he can create footwear for the shoe-loving Filipinos.
And with his own brand of creativity, Jazz is conquering the world, one shoe at a time.