Nike will release their Dia de Los Muertos collection on October 25th. This collection "celebrates" and "pays tribute" to one of Mexico's most colorful traditions. Nike's three most iconic shoes, the Cortez, Air Force 1, and Air Max 95 will serve as canvases for the celebration's three most representative elements, La Calaca, La Catrina, and El Altar.
The “El Altar” Cortez shoe showcases graphics found on traditional altares (also known as ofrendas). The bright orange is reminiscent of the cempasuchil flower and the candle lit ofrendas. The sole also showcases papel picado.
The Air Max 95 honors La Catrina, the female skeleton figure that represents a happy afterlife. According to Nike La Catrina translates perfectly to the Air Max 95’s human anatomy-inspired design lines, with different pieces of the shoe representing muscle fibers, the spine and the ribs.
Completing the collection is the Air Force 1 Low with La Calaka. Offering a reflective sugar skull pattern on its mudguard, midfoot and heel, the design is inspired by another key piece of commemorative altars. The white base represents the sugar that the skulls are constructed from.
Here's my take, these corporations profit off our culture and then claim they're being inclusive. The Mexican American community is so desperate and hungry for representation that they eat it all up without thinking twice about it. With 57 million Latinos in the United States, our buying power is expected to grow to 1.8 trillion dollars by 2021. It's no wonder corporations like Nike, Disney (Coco), Mattel (Dia de Los Muertos Barbie), and MAC Cosmetics (Selena makeup line) rush to "honor" and "celebrate" our culture. The problem is that they profit immensely from all of this and give nothing back to the culture they're "honoring." It feels like people never see through it though and always blindly rush to purchase and consume their own watered down and recycled culture from those only out to cash in on it. It's almost as if by having our customs and traditions showcased and exploited the community feels a certain type of validation and profound self worth thus allowing it to keep happening.