By JACQUELINE LAUREAN YATES, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Converse is celebrating Latin Heritage Month with its latest line of kicks that draw inspiration from Puerto Rican, Dominican and Mexican cultures.
The “Mi Gente” capsule collection includes festive versions of the brand’s classic Chuck 70 and Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers.
“Created for and by the community, a series of Chuck Taylor All Star styles aim to honor the stories that represent the diversity, duality and vibrancy of LatinX Heritage, in their home countries, the United States and beyond,” the footwear company wrote in a statement further speaking to the launch.
Out of the four sneakers featured, the black and white Chuck 70’s have the words “¡Mi Gente!,” which translates to “my people” in English, printed all over.
The All Star sneakers featured share stories of rich heritage through vibrant designs. One hi-top pick has white ruffles stitched throughout which is inspired by stories of the traditional style of skirts commonly worn by Puerto Rican Bomba dancers. There’s also accompanying apparel with similar style sleeves available in white or orange.
Another shoe dedicated to the Dominican Republic is a nod to the Mirabel Sisters who were also known as the “Mariposas.” Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa Mirabal were revolutionaries who became symbols of democratic and feminist resistance due to their opposition to dictatorship under Rafael Trujillo (El Jefe).
The idea of the “Mi Gente” capsule collection was the result of passionate designers with the aim of shedding light on their heritage through the canvas of Converse sneakers, the company said.
Los Angeles-based Ruth Mora’s work on the collection was inspired by the graffiti and murals that serve as a paramount part of LA street culture.
“Mi Gente for me starts first at home,” said Mora in a statement. “That’s the first thing that comes to my mind, I feel at home with not just my family, but I feel like Mi Gente, is people that make you feel warm and at home regardless of whether you know them or not. So, I really like that sense of togetherness that our culture has.”
In addition to the latest capsule, Converse is also partnering with organizations supporting Latino communities throughout 2020 in Boston and Los Angeles. There, efforts will be specifically focused on creativity and civic leadership for young women and girls.
Also starting this month, the brand has commissioned a grassroots community of creatives to contribute murals in Mexico, Peru, Chile and Brazil to bring the idea of ¡Mi Gente! to life on the streets.
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