Garage flew to the region of Bicol and explored the islands of Sorsogon with basketball royalty Kobe Paras, and the H&M team for an exclusive peek as they shoot their latest summer campaign.

Following the success of last year’s “Style to Play” campaign, where launched UP Fighting Maroon Kobe Paras as its first-ever local male ambassador, the student-athlete continues to represent the brand as he spearheads the men’s swimwear collection “I just feel really grateful just because they could have picked anybody, but they still chose me. I’m really known as an athlete, so what’s cool is that H&M gave me a chance to represent myself. I’ve been into fashion for so long, and H&M is the only company who took a chance on me. I’ll forever be grateful” Paras shares. And because Kobe Paras is living the post-basketball season life, in a good beach-bum vibe, we pulled him aside and grabbed the opportunity to get close and personal about his summer escapades and summertime style. We also learned about his two fur babies whom he takes care of at home, Chain Chomp and Bowser.

What’s life like in a day of Kobe Paras?

A lot of people think I’m really aggressive all the time because they see me on TV playing basketball, having my game face all the time. I’m really just chill and laidback. I have two babies, my two French bulldogs, Chain Chomp and Bowser. They’re my whole world—I take care of them. I’m in UP, too. I’m a student athlete, so that’s my life. School, basketball, home with my dogs.

What do you enjoy the most in and off court?

In court, I just love competing with people I grew up with. Because it’s not an everyday thing that you’re with your childhood friends playing basketball. Off the court, I love how people are starting to focus on fashion before basketball. You know how in the NBA, they have “leaguefits” wherein they show all of the players’ fashion styles before the game. And here in the Philippines, we’re starting to do that. It’s a way of giving chances for athletes to show that they’re more than their sports.

Any other passion aside from basketball?

I love clothes. I love the beach and playing the guitar. I do a lot of things. That’s what people don’t know about me. They think it’s all sports and whatever, but I’m just really laidback. I’m very curious, so I want to do a lot of things. I took my first scuba lessons a couple of months ago. I love the ocean. That’s one thing I’m trying to do, get my scuba license.

What’s your fondest summertime memory?

A couple of months ago, that’s when I started to go on beach trips with my friends. I think that’s when I really found myself, it was when I stopped being so negative and sad. It made me realize, when you really have that connection with your friends, you just need to take advantage of it because you don’t know which one of you are going to have a falling out. Just take advantage of what you have.

Which artists would make up your summer playlist?

My number one is artist is Wiz Khalifa. He’s my fashion icon as well. He’s my dad. That’s my guy. Favorite song for summertime would be So High. Next artist would be Travis Scott, the song is Can’t Say. That’s lit! The third song, Doja Cat’s Juicy. That’s my top three right there. That’s my top three songs I could put on repeat.

We also touched on his style when it comes to fashion and grooming. Paras is all about originality, feeling one’s own vibe, and just sticking to one, may it be in love or in grooming. Here’s our exchange.

How would you describe your style?

Different. Really different. A lot of people try hard to be someone they’re not. Just be you. People always ask me, how do you dress like this, and how do you dress like that? Whenever I wake up, whatever I feel. Whatever my vibe is, that’s what I’m going for. I’m going to wear dress pants with a tank top and sandals, that’s what I’m wearing. If I’m going for a dress shirt and a pair of shorts, with high socks and shoes, that’s what I’m going for.

What are your summer essentials? What are your top three accessories? 

Sunblock, so I could get a perfect tan. Tanning oil doesn’t work for me, I get easily burnt. Number two is speakers, so I can play those top three songs mentioned above. Number three, clothes. Number four, I go to the beach I know I’m going have that drip ready, with good friends, good vibes. We need that. My top three accessories are a choker chain, an earring, and a bracelet and/or a watch.

What is your signature summer style?

I have to wear swim shorts, first and foremost. Then sandals.

Among the H&M swim shorts you’ve worn, which best describes you as a person?

There’s this one that looks like denim washed, and then the string is black and neon. I think that’s me. I believe that you could wear denim with anything, so I think it’s cool that it is swim shorts but it looks like denim.

How’s your grooming/skincare routine in a day like?

I’m proud of skincare just because growing up, I went through the phase when I have pimples and all that. During those times, I was mixing and matching so many ointments and creams, like it was so bad for my skin, until I realized I just needed one thing. So I think my advice for people out there, just stick to one product and just don’t ever cheat, like in a relationship: DON’T EVER CHEAT. Please say it louder for the people at the back! Now back to my grooming arsenal.

What is your must-have grooming product?

Cologne. You always have to smell good. That’s my number one pet peeve, people who know they smell bad, but still don’t do anything about it.

Get your hands on H&M’s latest swimwear collection, with swim shorts starting at PHP 599 and tops at PHP 899. Available now in all H&M stores nationwide.