Check Out These Chuck Taylor All Stars Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month

ray polanco jr puro platano converse hispanic heritage month platanos sneaker featured image
Ray Polanco, Jr.

Photographer and creative consultant Ray Polanco Jr. recently collaborated with Converse on a new Chuck Taylor edition called Puro Platano in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 as a week-long observance of the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Ronald Reagan expanded the week to a 30-day period in 1988, and today we celebrate the greats like Cesar Chavez, Sonia Sotomayor, and Jennifer Lopez every year from September 15 to October 15.

In similar fashion, the Converse Puro Platano will be available online through October 15, 2018.

Polanco Jr. drew inspiration for the custom Chucks by representing the Dominican Republic “in a way that hasn’t been seen in the sneaker industry,” he writes. “No, seriously, Google ‘Dominican sneakers’ and the results are quite redundant. With that said, I was excited to cook something up (literally) for the culture.”

Going deeper than the colors of the Dominican flag, Polanco Jr. sought to communicate the essential culture and people of the Dominican Republic. As a member of sneaker-industry royalty (having worked with Nike, Vans, and Adidas in the past, to name a few), Polanco Jr. began with a design that wasn’t “too intimidating to wear” and “had something special beyond what Converse already offers.”

The result is a shoe we’d be damn proud to stunt.

The green upper represents the platano, or plantain, in its purest form. “Growing up, there was always a bowl of platanos sitting as the centerpiece to our dinner table,” Polanco Jr. says. The Converse patch and eyelets are done in gold, representing the cooked platano “in the form of popular Dominican dishes — tostones (fried version) and mangu (similar to mashed potatoes, but with platanos),” he writes.

The sole bears the Dominican flag colors of red, blue, and white, while the liner is a rich brown camouflage pattern to embody the range of skin tones found within Hispanic culture. “Even though colorism is a very real problem, Hispanic Heritage Month serves as a time to think about how beautiful we all are when we come together as one,” Polanco Jr. says.

Wearers can customize the white heel strip with a personal message of power. Polanco Jr. suggests “de lo mio,” similar to the English phrases “my bro” but more directly translates to “one of my own,” or “que lo qu,” which means “what’s up” or “what’s good.” And unlike your Fourth of July-ready, American flag-printed shoes, the Puro Platanos ($75) remain stylish year-round.

For a little more information on Dominican culture, learn all about the country’s best drink: mamajuana.

Fashion & Style

How to Dress For Apres Ski Without Looking Like a Newb

Your après ski style icons should consist solely of Steve McQueen and 007, not the rich douche in classic '80s ski movies.
Food & Drink

Flying Dog Brewery is Bringing THC-Infused Beer to Maryland

"In a way, the cannabis industry is a lot like the craft beer movement was a few decades ago."
Fashion & Style

The Converse Chuck 70 Gore-Tex Collection Keeps Style In and Water Out

You get all the original style of the classic Chuck with the added benefit of being waterproof.
Food & Drink

Drake, aka Champagne Papi, Launches Mod Sélection Champagne

Produced in the Valee de Marne region of France since 1892, this Champagne was, according to the brand, previously only available to the “political and industry elite” of France.

The Best Ski Brands and Our Top Men’s Gear Picks from Each

The number of ski brands has exploded in recent years. How do you know which ones are the best?
Fashion & Style

Take Your Suit Game Up a Notch With a Bow Tie

Take control of your style by adding a bow tie into the mix.
Fashion & Style

Top Guns: The Best Men’s Bomber Jackets to Buy Right Now

All you need now is a pair of aviators.
Fashion & Style

What to Wear to a New Year’s Eve Party

These picks are sharp, tailored, and ready to ring in the new year
Fashion & Style

Nike and Adidas Are Holding Massive Holiday Clearance Sales This Week

Nike and Adidas are hosting online sales with savings up to 50 percent off after the holidays.
Fashion & Style

Our Top Picks for the Perfect Lounge Pants for a Winter Weekend

Lounge pants are great for doing nothing and taking the chill off of Netflix and Chill.
Fashion & Style

Why Your Next Pair of Boots Should Be Nicks Boots

Pick your favorite style, get a custom fit, and then get to work.
Fashion & Style

Tracksmith’s ‘No Days Off’ Line Makes Running in Winter Warm

This apparel makes it fun to run outside in the snow ... which is insane.
Fashion & Style

How to Wear a Suit: Unspoken Rules and 3 Styles You Need to Know

Knowing how to wear a suit the right way is hard, especially if you didn't grow up with a silver spoon or a personal stylist. Here's our cheat sheet to suiting rules you probably don't know.
Fashion & Style

There’s No Suit Like a Snowsuit: 8 Best Snowsuits for Conquering the Cold

Because ski season coincides with January sale season at many retailers, if you see a suit you like in your size and favorite color, grab it before it’s gone.