Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month is celebrated across the United States from September 15 to October 15 and to celebrate the month three adidas employees have designed products that pay respect to the heritage of Hispanic and Latinx Americans, both on-field and off. Read about their connection to their heritage and its influences on their art.
Harold Arandia Jr. And Julio Aleman share the cultural influences in their baseball cleat design for Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month
This beautiful and complex design features materials and details that pay homage to the diversity of the culture. Harold and Julio were inspired by their deep connection to their own heritages, which are equally complex.
Harold’s heritage is Bolivian through his parents, both of whom emigrated to the U.S. Harold shared how his parents’ journey influences him:
“My parents came to this country not speaking the language and worked their asses off to make a life. I am a first generation American, so I am the beneficiary of all my parents’ hard work. They are my role models; I have no excuse to fail. Many of my colleagues from similar backgrounds feel the same way.”
Family stories inspire creativity for Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month
Julio feels similarly about his family and partner: “I pull a lot of strength from my family and their story, my parents and grandparents. Knowing what they’ve gone through to get here is really inspiring.”
Julio shares that his husband is an inspiration as well. “He’s Peruvian and immigrated here when he was 18 and worked so hard. Now he has an incredible career and is one of the brightest, most beautiful people I know. I feel fortunate to be surrounded by so many great people from the Latin community that give me a lot of inspiration.”
On identifying with two cultures, Harold sees the diversity of his own experience as an opportunity:
“It is strange because I am 100% Bolivian but also American. It has been an interesting journey for me… being proud of both cultures but never feeling fully 100% one or the other. I haven’t looked at it as a negative, but rather a positive in being comfortable in uncomfortable situations.”
Julio goes on to say, “This is something that has always been reflected in my work. (I take having two cultures) as an advantage as I’ve worked with people from different cultures and worked abroad.”
The shoe design was a true collaboration that brought together several cultural influences. “The challenge in this project was to try and capture how diverse Latin American and Hispanic culture is in one single cleat,” says Harold. “Our starting point was taking inspiration from the tapestries that are common throughout Latin American culture.”
Julio was asked to create flowers that represent the different countries of Latin America. Julio explains why he chose to hand paint the flowers; “I wanted to create some movement and diversity within the illustrations (flowers) themselves.”
Both designers are proud of the opportunity to celebrate Latinx and Hispanic culture through baseball and appreciated the experience of working with others to bridge cultures. Harold sums up the experience, “I’ve gotten to work not only with other Latinos to help tell this story, but also with other cultures to educate, enlighten, and enhance the view of Latinos in sport on and off the field.”
Eddy Zamora describes how inclusion inspired his T-shirt graphic for Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month
“’Dale Vida A La Vida’ is a pun on the of the name of the VIDA ERG (employee resource group at adidas) while inspiring others to live life to the fullest, this life is a celebration,” says Eddy Zamora, who works in retail marketing. The slogan is on the winning T-shirt design Eddy submitted to commemorate Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month for employees.
Eddy’s parents and older siblings immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico one year before Eddy was born. He saw the sacrifices his parents made to make sure he and his siblings had a better future.
Like Harold and Julio, Eddy’s heritage made his design personal. “Throughout my career I have always carried three words with me,” says Eddy. “Representation Is Important.” In partnership with a great friend and talented artist, Kim Pitts, Eddy was able to bring his inclusive design idea to fruition. “The inspiration behind the design was to create a piece of representation so that anyone from the Hispanic and Latinx community could see and feel as though they were honored.”
“This month gives everyone the opportunity to learn more about the Hispanic culture and heritage of the people they see and interact with on a daily basis,” says Eddy. Involvement with planning Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month has been Eddy’s favorite project so far and he has a message for everyone involved, “I want to say how grateful I am to be able to be a part of this moment in our brand’s history with all of you.”
Eddy Zamora dedicates this T-shirt design to his late friend Taveus Waller, “who always believed in me and showed me that everyone has a story that makes our life special.”