2022 PR DAY PARADE
Two Cities, One Culture
A bit of our brainstorming...
Back in 2020 two amazing opportunities came to me: the chance to work from home, go home to Puerto Rico to be with family for six months, and the chance to work on Nike’s collection for PR Day Parade. The first, was the most time I’ve been home in 10 years. A precious opportunity to reconnect with my island, our culture and my family. The second, the chance of a lifetime for a Boricua footwear designer, to represent my people, the diaspora experience and seat at the table to bring something authentic to life. Could you believe I thought the role was too big for me and I almost turned it down? Imposter syndrome makes you think some wild things.
All through out my childhood, my parents instilled the love for our country by driving me around and photographing it. We would go visit the different towns, beaches, restaurants and traditional events around the island to take pictures and explore. It’s a traditional my parents started when they began dating and it’s a family tradition we still make sure to keep. So I decided to use that as inspiration: capture what you see and how you feel when you visit home. The diaspora experience of adding color and life to our soul with a trip back to Puerto Rico.
The three common elements you can see throughout our island, our towns and our people are: our joy, our pride, and our love for color. Every town you visit, all the way from Fajardo to Mayagüez, or up north in our beautiful Old San Juan, we do not shy away from Color. So as a color designer myself, who constantly gets asked to tone down color for “commerciality” and “wearability” I took the chance to make the most colorful shoe I could possibly make. I wanted to capture the Caribbean sun baked colors of our houses, the clashing yet harmonious combinations of them all lined up in the maze that our cobble stone roads create and the energy of our towns and people. Also, make sure that our beautiful blue “azul celeste” was present after years of Navy and Royal Blue being used for product. A simple yet bold statement that truly signifies our love for our country.
We did so much, with so little. The pandemic took away so many opportunities and experiences, but it brought me this project to bring me joy and connection to Puerto Rico. I try to remind myself that it is about progress and taking it step by step. We are growing the team and bringing in more Boricuas to the table. So we’re just getting started. While not perfect and full of lessons to take, I am proud to serve you all with my personal medium: Color.
I wanna give a special shout out and big thank you to our team, Brianna, Teresa, Enrico, Jorge, Agra, Sarah, Diego, Nereida and Jenny. I feel so fortunate to work and learn from you all. We finally convinced leadership to get product to the island. We did that. Long overdue. Also to Carli and Pulpo from @mofongokicks , and Christian Figueroa @see.fig for speaking from the heart and telling it like it is. Your words helped push the needle forward. And lastly, Fio, Edwin, Christian and my partner Gian for being the best support system I could ever ask for.
“Perdona el lucimiento, es que soy
Details: Leather and Nubuck uppers with Domino print perf underlays, Guayabera detail on tongue, printed sock liners, Domino dubraes and Adoquín inspired blue outsoles.
Photos taken from Social Media. I do not credit as my own.