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When it comes to sneakers, New Yorkers know how to bring it. From graffiti legend Stash to culture expert Bobbito Garcia, natives of the five boroughs have succinctly told their individual stories through the rare opportunity of a shoe collab. Gabrielle Serrano, a Queens native and the winner of NYC’s On Air competition from 2018, brought the heat thanks to a concept inspired by her unique perspective of the city – one that was formed by her experience as a street photographer as well as a first-generation American from a family of immigrants.
Appropriately called “La Mezcla” (or “the mix), Serrano’s Air Max 98 was selected by the people as the top choice among a sea of submissions from the city’s On Air event. The crackled mudguard represents the concrete that lines the city blocks, while the earth-toned gradient mirrors the ethnic diversity that make up the people of the giant melting pot. For the Big Apple’s inhabitants, it’s as “NYC” as you can get. For Gabrielle, it’s a dream come true for a life-time sneaker collector with over 800 pairs to her name. We spoke with her to learn more about the inspiration and the process behind her design – one that will hit retail in April along with the five other On Air winners.