Long before signature silhouettes and special make ups ruled the sneaker landscape, Black, brown, and Asian communities have been on the front lines of arts, culture, and style curation worldwide. Before algorithms dictated which pairs get back-doored, some the biggest fans lined up for a drop in the middle of the night have been Latine — and sneakers are not something they stumbled upon.
Whether it was Bronx kids ironing fat laces on their shell toes before heading to a Kool Herc show or L.A. natives declaring Cortos (Nike Cortez) the official shoe of the city— sneakers have been an intuitive tool for subversive expression in the face of erasure. It meant you knew what was up and that you had decided to choose the life of a style creator and vibe originator. G’d up from the feet up, countless pioneers have made a mark in the industry of athletic footwear and the history of American style.
Now, a new generation of innovators are eager to make their own impact and represent the cultural shifts currently taking place on a global scale. To help in this endeavor, Foot Locker is stepping in to identify those men and women who use their unique voices to shape the future of style and fashion.
Original Flow Clase 2021
During Our Heritage Month, Foot Locker’s Flow Original Clase ‘21 will give props to the first class of Latine sneakerheads by celebrating the talent found in our community. This includes 12 creators from all walks of life – from fashion designers and photographers to stylists and entrepreneurs.
This year’s Flow Original Clase ’21 creators are Edgar Berlanga, Haylee Ahumada, Nees Calderon, Rachel Gomez, Manny Rodriguez, Redd Carreras, Evelyn Escobar, Daniel Moon, Mel Depaz, Christian Vazquez, Francis Montoya, and Juan Veloz.
Of the dozen creators, half are designers and leaders in the business and fashion industry. Vázquez is the founder of the streetwear label Famous Nobodys. Montoya is the founder and creative director of the streetwear brand Perico Limited. Rodríguez is the co-founder of Chicago’s Jugrnaut streetwear boutique. Gómez is the founder of Viva La Bonita, a women’s streetwear brand rooted in self-empowerment. Nees Calderón is the founder of The Very Clean, and Carreras is the founder of indie-streetwear label Details Matter.
These names in fashion are joined by hairstylist Daniel Moon, makeup artist Haylee Ahumada, visual artist Melisa Depaz, photographer Juan Veloz, boxer Edgar Berlanga, and entrepreneur Evelyn Escobar.
Each of these creators lives by the manifesto that guides them through the challenges they may face when pushing forward to meet their goals. While doing so, the creators don’t subscribe to what the mainstream dictates. Their Latine heritage is a big reason they can persevere and find the passion within themselves to get the job done.
“We celebrate our resistance through existence, and our differences are what unite us,” the Foot Locker manifesto reads. “Using vibes as an opportunity to show up for our community.”
It’s through their determination and drive that these creators are having a long-lasting effect on the cultura. With an assist from Foot Locker, there’s no stopping their aspirations.
Foot Locker has been committed to serving the Latine community through empowerment and education opportunities. By partnering with independent brands throughout the year, Foot Locker is putting an emphasis on diversity and representation. With Flow Original Clase ’21, they are placing these trendsetters in the spotlight to highlight their achievements and for creating a positive influence in their neighborhoods and beyond.