Nike has commissioned four Latino artists to launch a collection of sneakers for Hispanic Heritage Month. Spanning the “month” between September 15th to October 15th, Hispanic Heritage Month has been a controversial celebration in the U.S. The celebration was started by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968, and expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, when it was also signed into law.
According to the Hispanic Heritage Month website, the September 15th to October 15th “month” was chosen to encapsulate a bunch of different Independence days.
“The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.”
Celebrating Christopher Columbus is obviously still controversial for many, with good reason.
However, Nike took this “Heritage” month as an opportunity to both work with Latino artists and to drop some dope kicks.
This Air Max 1 was designed by Chilean artist Wasafu, with inspiration from the traditional body paint of The Ona People.
According to Nike, this shoe is nicknamed the “Nomad.” Designed by Chilean artist Wasafu, the shoes take inspiration from the nomadic Ona people, also known as the Selk’nam, of the Patagonia region of southern Argentina, Chile and the Tierra del Fuego Islands. The Ona were known for navigating unforgiving conditions, and their unrelenting hope in the face of adversity comprises the spirit of this design, and their traditional body paint inspired the look. The Ona was once a thriving tribe is now extinct. Their language is only spoken by one descendent, a linguistic genius that goes by the name Keyuk.
A pattern made up of several Latin American symbols is used by Chilean artist INTI on the Classic Cortez.
The idea behind this Classic Cortez design from INTI is that we are many different Latin American cultures, but are one people. The “One Heart,” Cortez takes inspiration from several Latin American designs and weaves them into one tapestry.
Saner took one of the most iconic shoes in Nike’s arsenal, the Air Force 1, and turned it into a jaguar monster.
The “Master Jaguar” Air Force One takes inspiration from native cultures in Latin America that believed in the magic of jaguars as a spiritual animal. It’s definitely one of the coolest shoes in the series. Street artist Saner takes inspiration both from actual jaguars, using a spotted fur print and the mask art he is known for on the heel of the shoe.
Brazilian artist POMB created a beautiful collage on the iconic Air Jordan 1 that would rival any street mural in your neighborhood.
POMB is a designer and urban artist from Sao Paulo. According to his website, in addition to being a muralist and engraver, he is into large-scale collages, as well as sculpting totem poles and masks from wood. POMB used a vivid and colorful mural collage on the tongue of the Air Jordan 1 adding an equally impressive and intricate suede design to the rest of the shoe. Entitled “É tudo nosso” or Portuguese for “it’s all ours,” a popular Brazilian expression meaning “we are everything and from all places – it’s all ours!”
Keep your eyes peeled for the shoes, which go on sale starting this week in limited quantities.