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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! 

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Nordstrom Has A New ‘Inclusive Beauty’ Category To Highlight Black-Owned Beauty Brands And It’s Where The Money Is At

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Nordstrom Has A New ‘Inclusive Beauty’ Category To Highlight Black-Owned Beauty Brands And It’s Where The Money Is At

Gallo Images / Contributor

If you’re looking to be more intentional about where you spend your cash, Nordstrom has just made your efforts to support Black-owned businesses easier.

The department store recently launched a new Inclusive Beauty online shopping category to highlight Black businesses. In a post to the site’s Inclusive Beauty landing page, Nordstrom encouraged users to “Check out these need-to-know Black-founded beauty brands that we’re proud to have in the Nordstrom family.” The new category includes beloved lines like  Brioge, Epara and Beauty Bakerie!

Even better, the Inclusive Beauty section features a wide range of makeup shades to suit all complexions as well as hair products like silk pillowcases, and hairpieces.

Check out some of the featured Black-owned Beauty brands below!

Bomba Curls Dominican Forbidden Hair Mask

$28NordstromSHOP NOW

Briogeo Repair Rituals Hair Care Set

Briogeo

$20NordstromSHOP NOW

Baby Tress 3-in-1 Edge Styler™ Tool Blush

Baby Tress

$15NordstromSHOP NOW

Epara Hydrating Mist

$56NordstromSHOP NOW

Beauty Bakerie Black Blending Egg Makeup Sponge Set

Beauty Bakerie

$18NordstromSHOP NOW

BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector Cream

$65NordstromSHOP NOW

Mantl Face + Scalp Invisible Daily SPF 30 Broad Spectrum

Mantil

$27NordstromSHOP NOW

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AOC’s Fans Took Part In An Amazing Meme Campaign To Celebrate Her Bday And It Will Humble You

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AOC’s Fans Took Part In An Amazing Meme Campaign To Celebrate Her Bday And It Will Humble You

Yana Paskova / Getty

Talk about a take back.

Yesterday, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez celebrated her 31st birthday, and to pay tribute to her, some of her biggest fans used the congresswoman’s signature looks and iconic words. The result was a mass of Tik Tok and Twitter makeup tutorials set to a mashup of Kendrick Lamar’s 2017 track “Humble.” AOC’s recent spack down of Representative Ted Yoho, who allegedly called the congresswoman a “crazy,” “disgusting” “f*cking b*tch” also made an appearance.

In an ode to AOC’s iconic takedown of Representative Ted Yoho this past July, users donned amazing lip colors and AOC’s finest words.

The AOC Birthday celebration meme saw users do their makeup and style their hair while mouthing a speech AOC gave this past July. Some of the videos featured facts about AOC and her accomplishments in office.

“I am here because I have to show my parents that I am their daughter and that they did not raise me to accept abuse from men,” the user’s mouth while the audio clip of AOC plays.

Olympic medalist Laurie Hernandez even took part in the trend.

Earlier this summer, Rep. AOC admonished Rep. Ted Yoho on the House floor after he called her a “f*cking b*tch.”

According to reports, the confrontation occurred when the two members of Congress were passing each other on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Rep. Yoho allegedly confronted AOC and accused her of being “disgusting.” This occurred after she made comments that New York’s spike in crime had been caused by the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Rep. AOC rebuked Yoho for his lack of apology at the time on the house floor soon after.

“It is cultural. It is a culture of lack of impunity, of accepting violence and violent language against women, an entire structure of power that supports that,” AOC said before adding “Mr. Yoho mentioned that he has a wife and two daughters – I am two years younger than Mr. Yoho’s youngest daughter. I am someone’s daughter, too. My father, thankfully, is not alive to see how Mr. Yoho treated his daughter. My mother got to see Mr. Yoho’s disrespect.”

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