“My name is Rafael, I’m a designer and a photographer. I like to skate, and I like sneakers too – when I was a kid I had a white and a red All Star, both were high tops and I think that they influenced the things that I like today. I changed my taste and style of dressing in college in 2010, when I met some people that were into skateboarding. I started skating because of them and saw that they wore Vans, I thought it was cool and I wanted to get one.
My first Vans was the Sk8-Hi, that’s why I have this very strong relationship with the brand and the model. It was bright yellow, really dope … I don’t have them anymore because I destroyed them completely, I had to throw them away – sometimes I think that I should have kept them put away somewhere, but that’s ok, I still have them in my memory. This year I decided to get a tattoo to remind them, it was around the same time that I bought this sneaker. I can’t see myself not wearing Vans, it has completely shaped my style.”
What’s your relationship with this Sk8-Hi Pro?
RafaelBecause it was the first model I bought and also because when I bought it, I got the chance to go to a Vans event. It was a skateboarding championship, the Vans Park Series, I had unrestricted access, I stayed really close to the tracks, and I some very nice photos. I like to take pictures of people skating but in this event it was different, there were some really good dudes out there.
How did you get into this event?
rafaelI went to Maze to buy them and they had this promotion where the first five to buy the sneaker would get a free ticket to go to the championship. It was cool because they had a bus that took everyone, I got kit with a T-shirt and everything. The event was in Serra Negra, we left here at 6 am and we only left there at 7 pm. It was tough because it was an insanely hot day, and you had the head right on your head the entire day but it was worth it. And it all made me like the brand even more right?
Do you have a lot of Vans?
rafaelI have 13 pairs, some Eras, the classics, half cabs and my other favorite model which is the black and gray checkered slip ons, but I’ve been looking for the black and white ones because it’s the classic, right? I have two Sk8-Hi, but the model I have the most is the Eras.
My dream is to one day go on the Vans Warped Tour, but I found out that this will be their last year. And it’s a really cool festival, always in the United States playing some more underground bands; Blink and Green Day came up from this tour.
Why did you choose Paulista as the location for today’s shooting?
rafaelI’ve always lived here, my school was right at the beginning of the avenue, so it’s a place I’ve been around a lot. When they opened it just for pedestrians I went back to skateboarding – now every Sunday I’m here, it doesn’t matter if it’s sunny or raining. I always go for a walk, just to enjoy the city. It’s like my backyard, you know. I like it because I always run into someone I know, it’s a very familiar place for me.