Inspired by the storefront windows of bodegas, mercados, and colmados, shoe company Converse has launched the “Mi Gente, Mi Barrio” collection of its popular footwear. Converse is also documenting the new collection with a series of art projects across the globe.
The Converse shoes reimagined for the Latinx Heritage Month initiative are the Louie Lopez Pro, Chuck 70, and Chuck Taylor All-Star. Now, each shoe brand sports the “Mi Gente” label in its name. The Mi Gente Louie Lopez Pro, a low-top shoe designed specifically for skateboarders, features butted seams, foam sock liners, and traction rubber. It was named after Los Angeles-based skateboarder Louie Lopez.
The Mi Gente Chuck 70 shoes are designed with “bodega-inspired graphics” and advertisements of products you could purchase at the small convenience stores in New York City. Images of apples for 99 cents per lb. and queso fresco, 2/$5.00 wrap around the sneakers along with other text like “ATM Adentro,” “Fresh Avocados,” and “Handmade Tostones.”
The Mi Gente Chuck Taylor All-Star kicks take “cues from the places and faces of Latinx barrios,” designed with more minimal imagery than the Chuck 70s. Most of the shoe is a crisp white, but there are also illustrations of bodega products like bananas and tortilla chips. Near the heel of the shoe is a small bouquet of red roses.
To capture the uniqueness of the new shoes, the “Mi Gente, Mi Barrio” initiative also worked with the nonprofit group Las Fotos Project to photograph the campaign. The shoes will also get more artistic love when they are used as the subjects of a series of murals painted across the world in places like Los Angeles, Mexico City, Santiago, Chile, and Lima, Peru.
Shoes from the Converse Mi Gente, Mi Barrio collection are available at Converse.com.