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Converse Is Putting Dominican Art On Their Shoes And Here’s How People Are Feeling About The Decision

Influencer Ray Polanco Jr. and Converse have collaborated again for Latinx Heritage Month as a part of the “Converse by LatinX” collection. Polanco Jr. recruited artist Eric Narváez to hand draw and create a Chuck Taylor that featured coloring book style art of Dominican iconography. 

The collection also features work from tattoo artist Don Rimx, and Mexican and Colombian artist Paloma Montoya. Each of Polanco Jr.’s shoes will have a unique pattern of the cultural iconography — that means every pair is one of a kind. 

Ray Polanco Jr. Uses Dominican Upbringing As Inspiration

“Inspired by Ray Polanco Jr.’s experience growing up Dominican in New York City, the hand-drawn images encourage wearers to bring the design to life with color transforming the Chuck Taylor into a cultural coloring book for your feet. Make the “Puro Platano” story your own. Shout to Uptown,” the Converse description reads.

Puto Plátano

“What a feeling… meet my new @converse the “puro plátano 2”  — a cultural coloring book for your feet inspired by my experience growing up Dominican in NYC. I want the world to get to know us beyond flag colors, so I designed a visual story of pride. I left the hand-drawn images blank so YOU can collab with me. the reality is us LatinX come in all colors, so I want u to make these ur own,” Polanco Jr. wrote on Instagram. 

This isn’t the first time Polanco Jr. has brought Dominican pride to Chuck Taylors

Polanco Jr. collaborated with Converse on the Puro Plátano last year. It was a simple plátano green shoe with the words “puro platano” on the side in gold letters. 

“As a storyteller, I believe sneakers are the perfect canvas to communicate a message because we all wear some kind of footwear. Last year, I wanted to get the world to know more about Dominicans beyond just the colors of our flag and I thought food was the best way to do that, which led to transforming the Chuck Taylor into a Platano. This year, I wanted to connect on a deeper level with the ‘Puro Platano’ story by collaging distinct images from my experience growing up Dominican in New York City,” Polanco Jr. told Footwear News

This year he really amped up the Dominican iconography. There’s rolos, plátanos, bachata dancersandbottles of rum among other familiar images to anyone who grew up in The Bronx.

“A lot of the shoe is inspired by family: my dad playing dominoes at the bodega with his friends, my mom wearing rolos in her hair after the beauty salon, and things like that.” he said. “Shout out to my sister who would cop Chucks in every color on Fordham Road in the Bronx back in the day. Beyond my story, I feel like anyone who grew up in NYC will connect with at least one thing on the shoe and hopefully, other people in different cities can relate, too.” 

Polanco Jr. is not the only artist included in Converse’s LatinX collection.

Paloma Montoya

Mexican and Colombian artist Paloma Montoya’s artwork was inspired by Colombian culture, like its cafes, people, and vallenato musicians and singers.

“I was born from my father, a Mexican and my mother from #medellincolombia, but I was raised by my mother and maternal grandparents. All #antioqueños. I grew up on arepas, tamales and empanadas #colombianos , sancocho and natilla. I listened to Carlos Vives and know the lyrics (in Spanish) to Jaime R. Echavarría’s Serenata de Amor – Thanks Mamita,” Paloma wrote in her Instagram caption. 

“My grandparents bought the house in South Gate. I’ve been here all my life, I didn’t embrace my Mexican side from my father, I embraced it here with my friends who are Mexican and Mexican-American. Mexico and South Gate run through my blood, but I have generations and generations of Colombian blood in me. Maybe that’s why I think about going back often? Maybe that’s why when I went and met my relatives high up in the mountains of #antioquia – it felt like home. This pair is for you Mom, Mamita and Papito.” 

Don Rimx

Puerto Rican muralist and tattoo artist, Don Rimx also got a chance to make his own custom sneaker. The unique pattern mimics rosary beads and colorful feathers. 

“Muy honrado de poder colaborar con @converse en este proyecto para diseñar un patron para el Chuck Taylor dandole un giro personalizado con el estilo original de Don Rimx inspirado en su cultura y el camino por andar,” Rimx wrote on Instagram. 

The Converse by LatinX collection is available now. Shout out to Converse for hiring these independent Latinx artists as well! 

Besamé Cosmetics’ Sold-Out ‘Lucille Ball Collection’ Is Officially Coming Back This Fall

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Besamé Cosmetics’ Sold-Out ‘Lucille Ball Collection’ Is Officially Coming Back This Fall

Archive Photos / Getty

Fans love Lucille Ball so much that when Besamé Cosmetics launched a collection dedicated to her back in June all of its items were sold out within a matter of twelve hours. The collection paid homage to the beauty of the iconic Hollywood comedian who, alongside her husband (Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz), starred in the television classic “I Love Lucy.”

Now, the souped-up limited-edition Lucy items are back by popular demand.

The launch date? This September.

Lucy fans can pre-order lipstick of the new line on the brand’s website.

“Already, hundreds of orders have come in to pre-order these colors inspired by classic Lucy looks,” a representative from Besamé told Allure about the line which pays homage to the iconic actress’s signature look.

The retro makeup line gives fans a chance to seize up to seven beauty items that are supposed to match the makeup Ball wore in her days of stardom. The Ball collection comes complete with an eye shadow palette, lipstick, a pressed powder compact, and a pencil set for eyes and lips.

Like every Besamé item, the collection’s products are encased in rounded gold. This time, however, they come with a special design that features an original drawing of the actress.

The collection can be purchased as a bundle for $150. Additional gifted items will be included for the whole bunch.

According to Allure, those who purchase the collection will receive “two additional and exclusive products: an I Love Lucy tote bag and a set of false lashes the brand says ‘are based on the exact size, shape, and color that Lucille Ball wore.'”

The Lucille Ball collection is just the first in a new collection by Besamé.

Besamé has stated that they intend on producing an Iconic Women Series featuring iconic figures from history. It’s unknown as of yet who else will be featured on the upcoming products but we’re crossing our fingers for Latina icons like Dolores Huerta, Celia Cruz, and Rita Moreno.

Latinas Are Defining Their Natural Hair For Themselves And It’s Pretty Beautiful

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Latinas Are Defining Their Natural Hair For Themselves And It’s Pretty Beautiful

Cameron Spencer / Getty

Pelo. Whether we grow it, curl, straighten it, or shave it we sure can’t seem to get enough of it. While, of course, we understand that having hair does not define us, for so many of us it means so much. After a recent stunning post, we found on Instagram posted by @goddess.veil we decided to ask Latinas the ultimate question.

“How would you describe your natural hair?”

And as it turns out, Latinas had quite a bit to say. Check it out below.

This chica described it as her BFF.

“El frizz y volumen mis mejores amigos!!” –beaamartz

“My hair is naturally red, extremely thick, coarse, and wavy. I even had a hairdresser compare it to llama wool I have learned how to take better care of it now that I’m older and not hate it anymore.”- katy_katie_katu_kat

And so many chicas called it wild and loved.

“Wild, free and unapologetic! I’m so glad I never listened to all the negative people that used to tell me to straighten my hair…no heat damage over here boo.” – lizbeth_ariana

“My glory it’s long curly and rebellious lol no matter what products I put in it does it’s own thing so I’ve embraced my natural curls and baby hair and even my natural color.” – ari_sotof

“Wild.” – tatismoreira

“God-gifted.” – jcarcreative

Greñuda and perfect.

“Greñuda con estilo.” – jannexees

“Free.” – storyexploratory

A fighter.

“Wanna be curly but wavy to frizzy on it’s best day. Can’t make up its mind but has a mind if it’s own until I bring out the straightener and we duke it out. The heat always wins!!” – tiazoom

“A natural flow with some wave.” – lidi83

Long and strong with the power and beauty passed onto to me by my ancestors.” – bri_g16

The indicator of my many moods lol depending on how I have it represents my mood of the day.” – jenivy09

Full of Vida is our favorite way to describe it.

“Wavy and full of vida.” – misdaisy

And we can’t help but tear up a little bit over this description as a protector.

It’s my protector, lays long as rapunzels in the stories, part of my identity and soars as the birds in skies and as blessed as God made me. HAPPY WARRIOR WEDNESDAY MIS GUERRERAS AND SISTERS! BLESSINGS ON THIS RISING!” – brightdollface