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Entrepreneur and Sneakerhead: Chantel Rodriguez

Interviews

Dorothy Field
July 10, 2022

Chantel @chooseloveart worked at a sneaker store in her teenage years, and she loves sneakers ever since. she likes to match sneakers with formal wear to capture different element as a creative entrepreneur.

All images via @chooseloveart

What was the moment you first got drawn to sneakers, and which pair of sneakers triggered your passion?

One of my first real jobs as a teen was at a sneaker store, so my love for them was definitely influenced heavily by that. Even before that though, as a kid I grew up around sneakers. Kicks were (and still are) a big part of street culture and were a symbol of credibility in some way. I didn’t care much about copping pairs to impress people though, I just genuinely began to appreciate the artistic aspect of them. I remember seeing a pair of cool grey 9’s for the first time and it was on from that point.

What’s one moment or trend in the history of sneaker culture that resonates with you?

I think a big one for me was when Nike launched Nike iD (By You). As a naturally creative person, the concept of customization was so fire to me. I remember designing my first pair of Air Max 90’s on the site and the feeling it brought to know I’d be the only person rocking them was super dope. I actually became pretty well known for that pair haha.

Please describe how it feels to you when you get and wear a new pair of kicks?

Copping a new pair of kicks to me is like buying a piece of art you can wear. As an artist/creative myself, I think of them as an extension of my personality, self-expression and style.

Sneakers are like the cherry on top for a fresh fit. It’s also fun to rock them in unconventional ways too. One of my favorites is to combine sneakers with “professional” clothing to capture different elements of who I am as a creative & entrepreneur.

What are some of your favorite creators/designers or brands and why?

Ah man there’s a lot! The most obvious that deserve mention though is the late Virgil, Takashi Murakami, Pharrell, Ye, and more. These people are all creative masterminds that aren’t bound to current times and trends. To be a great artist/creative, you HAVE to be a visionary. All of these people are definitely that.

What is one sneaker collaboration that doesn’t exist, but you wish/think should exist?

Honestly, it’s been a dream of mine since I was young to create my own Dunk Low or Air Max 1 collab. I have a vision to create this bold, funky color way inspired by my Taino/Puerto Rican roots. Never say never, right?

Aside from that though, I’m also into wellness and one of my favorite kombucha brands, GTS, dropped a blue anniversary flavor in a flower of life bottle. I could definitely see a cool collab inspired by that.

What are some of the current pairs of sneakers in your rotation?

Right now, I’d say I mostly live in Space Hippies and 1’s. You can’t go wrong with either of those.

What is your ultimate holy grail sneaker that you have not managed to acquire so far?

I’m pretty blessed to already own or have owned all of my grails - BUT if we’re talking top of my current list, I’d say the Winter Solstice Dunks and Cactus Jack Mochas.

Other than kicks, what are some of your daily essentials or treasured items?

Aside from kicks, my other must have essentials would probably be black liquid eyeliner, nude/earth tone sweat pants, and most importantly is my cameras. My husband and I own our production/content creation company, so having our gear with us is always a must. You never know when you’re going to be inspired!

Where people can find you on social media?

Instagram: @chooseloveart

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I'm a full-time freelance writer with a love for writing self-improvement, relationships, mental health, and lifestyle articles.