“I love designing boards and graphics,” says pro skater Nora Vasconcellos, speaking about her new line with Adidas. “But this is the pinnacle of what I’ve ever designed product-wise.”
In 2012, Nora Vasconcellos was working a warehouse job in Massachusettes with little else but a dream and a skateboard to carry her. Then one day — quite suddenly — she decided to stop dreaming about it and just be about it. She packed her bags, fought off her anxiety disorder and claustrophobia, and boarded a train for California. Flash forward to today, and Nora is not only a pro skater but the first female pro skater to ever be sponsored by Adidas, where she’s launching the brand’s first unisex-focused signature skatewear collection.
“It is a universal collection breaking the barrier of saying ‘this is for a man’ or ‘this is for a woman,’” Nora explains. “I can see guys I skate with like Diego Najera and Miles Silvas going for the darker palette and someone like DeAndre Thebpanya going for some of the other colors. The pieces all compliment each other.”
Dubbed simply, “The Nora Collection,” Vasconcellos’ Adidas capsule consists of six-pieces — a set of color-blocked pastel polos with custom Nora branding, a custom sneaker, a pair of her signature lavender chinos with a slight flare, a yellow fleece, and a watercolor t-shirt designed by Nora herself that explores the shredder’s love of floral tones.
In an interview with Rolling Stone from last year, Vasconcellos said that her first childhood hero was Reggie Rocket from the Nickelodeon Nick-toons classic Rocket Power, and while the Nora collection isn’t as Gen-X influenced as Reggie’s graphic-tee and camo pants combo, those who grew up on Rocket Power will recognize the connections, particularly in Reggie and Nora’s shared love of purple.
Reggie Rocket was by all accounts a tomboy, but the Nora collection transcends the binary notion of tomboyishness. It’s neither overtly masculine nor overtly feminine. Instead, it’s all about playing with color aesthetics while reflecting the changing landscape of skateboarding. A solid combo and a much-needed one.