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Yeo Kaa's designs as Adidas' first Filipina collaborator boosts both style, spirit

MANILA, Philippines — Talented, pretty and with many sold-out solo exhibits here and abroad, Yeo Kaa is a poster girl of what a successful young woman should be. 

In spite these, there were times that the Filipina artist wanted to drift away into oblivion, opening up to in an interview exclusive that she used to not see a future for herself.

“For the longest time, very depressed ako. Tapos around 2017, naging okay ako. After nu’n, parang naging wala lang ang feelings… ‘yung mga doubts ko, nabubuhay,” she recalled.

“Dati, may goal naman (ako) sa buhay, pero parang dati, hindi (ko) naman g anu’n pinu-push ‘yung sarili ko. That’s the problem.”

According to her, she was so down, she used to tell herself: “Bakit ko naman kailangang gawin ‘yan? Hindi naman kailangan. Wala naman akong future.”

Her mindset was: “Bahala kayo. Hindi ko kailangang maging maayos kasi wala naman akong mapag-iiwanan.”

A post shared by adidas Philippines (@adidasph)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, as the world started to heal, so did Yeo Kaa from her mental health struggles.

“During pandemic… nakapagrelax talaga ako. Mas nakilala ko ‘yung sarili ko. Kasi habang lahat ng tao nagkakagulo nu’ng pandemic, ako, ‘yun lang ‘yung time na nakahinga ako. Tapos d’un lang ako nakapag-isip nang maayos. Dahil d’un, umayos ako. Gusto ko ang lahat ng nasa paligid ko, maayos din.”

After the pandemic, Yeo Kaa still encounters sadness spells, but she has learned how to manage it more, which is why she called this stage in her life as her “strong girl period."

“Medyo, and’un ‘yung struggle, pero kaya naman,” she declared.

Recently, Yeo Kaa has been given a chance to share her story of survival and continuous quest for strength as the first-ever female Filipino collaborator of international sports and lifestyle brand Adidas.

A silhouette born from basketball but made famous off-court, the Adidas Rivalry 86 Low has been reintroduced to the Philippines through the launch of the new “Strong Girl” colorway in collaboration with Yeo Kaa, who is best known for her paintings that depict her iconic candy-colored characters in states of reality. 

“’Yung concept ng shoes is about strength. ‘Yung