Name: Hommy Diaz
Location: From Queens, NY to San Diego
Occupation: Global Product Merchant & Design Manager
Affiliations: DC Shoes | Life Collection / Special Projects
Background: Hommy was born and raised in Queens, NY. His parents are originally from the Dominican Republic. He grew up skateboarding from 1988 – 2001. Graduated from Parsons School of Design in NYC (Bachelors in Communication Design.) His first gig out of college was working at Apple Computer for five years as a Lead Business Liaison. Hommy currently heads the DC LiFE Collection and Special Projects Division for DC Shoes.
What’s on Hommy’s workspace:
1. iPhone 4 (White…aka The Unicorn)
2. “Boxed Water Is Better” carton
3. Muscle men figure
4. DC Life BOOST training sneaker
5. DC Life BOOST midsole sample
6. NOISEMAKERS picture frame chillin with P. Diddy
7. 30″ Apple Cinema Display
8. Dominican Republic custom finger board
9. Wacom Pad
10. Pantone Fan and chips
AWKP: First off, that’s a really great powder coating job on your Iphone 4! So where did you get it from?
HD: It’s actually an original white iPhone 4. Apple had some difficulty matching the white home button with the rest of the white on the phone. Rumored to be a reason why they never released it. I can’t reveal my sources as to how I got an OG. Goes against the code, LOL.
AWKP: Every now and then I come across an article or even a website that talks about how bad bottle products are for the environment. Tell us why we should jump on the ‘Boxed Water’ revolution and ‘go carton?’
HD: I can’t say I am an avid environmentalist or health activist of any sort. I was intrigued by the deceiving design of the packaging vs. what was being offered inside. We have been visually trained to equate white carton with red, blue or green branding with the content of milk. Upon seeing this with bold simple black branding I was refreshingly hooked and needed to buy one. But yeah I could agree that plastic can be bad for the environment due to the anti biodegradability factor. And plastic bottled water exposed to the sun can’t be good for you. I guess I can say I am backing this milk carton water thing! Shouldn’t you?
AWKP: Talk about flashback! I remember collecting those Muscle Men Figurines along with the Army Men back in the day. Where did you find one and are you going to start searching for the entire collection?
HD: LOL, this was a surprise left on my desk by the honorable Glenn Pajarito as a good bye just before leaving DC to spread his wings else where! By far one of the best nostalgic surprise gifts I have received to date. I collected these as a kid. The where a bouts of my collection, unfortunately unknown. At least I have one now, thank you Glenn.
AWKP: You have been managing the DC Life Collection for a couple years now. What struggles in the past have you encountered in surfacing this sector of DC Shoes.
HD: Yeah.. Looking back, it’s been 5 years.. Long time. DC is a beast with all the major action sports under its iconic logo with the best athletes on the planet reppin’. The struggle has been getting DC Life out of the shadows of the action sport element. DC Life is an offering designed and merchandised for the consumers “Life Off The Board”. Inspired by the 4 elements of skate; music, art, fashion and sports. In the past 8 to 10 years Skateboarding has become a ‘go to’ ingredient in fashion. DC Life is at the heart of that and not by choice but by organic adoption. DC Shoes was introduced in 1994 and now with millions of followers over the age of 25. For them skateboarding is not a hobby, its a lifestyle on and off the board.
AWKP: What would you say was your most triumphant moment?
HD: First was growing up as skateboarder in NYC in the late 80’s to early 2000′s and now working for the “most desirable action sports skate driven brand on the planet.” With DC Life, I am very proud of the “My STUDIO Session” project. Its a project I conceptualized and worked on from A through Z. Read on to learn more about that…..
AWKP: Can you tell us the story about your meeting with Business Mogul P. Diddy?
HD: The good people at NOISEMAKERS Peter Rosenberg and Nick Rosenberg made it possible for me to meet and create a one off shoe for Diddy. Thanks to Nelson Cepeda, Rebel Aire on the post execution of the shoe for Diddy. The NOISEMAKERS format allows Hip Hop legends to tell their behind the scenes story to a live audience. It was great to meet him after an experience like that. There are millions of people that wish they had the opportunity in person, so I am fortunate and thankful.
AWKP: We have mentioned in the past how every designer must have a Pantone Fan on his or her desk. Which one color you think is going to set it off for the later part of 2011?
HD: Lately, there has been a resurgence of well-dressed men on the streets, in magazines, videos etc.. Bloggers like marcustroy.com and streetetiquette.com have done an excellent job of documenting it. My job is to see styles and trends like this coming as far in advance as possible. I am confident the 7 STUDIO color ways will compliment today’s modern man. The one color that will set it off which I used is SPICE aka Sudan Brown 18-1160 TPX.
AWKP: Can you talk about your trip to NYC in which you produced a video campaign with 7 key bloggers? What inspired you to create this project?
HD: The concept began with the material. For about 2 years, I was looking for a matte finished suede or leather with a soft satin or rubber feel to the touch like the black iPhone incase and AIAIAI tma-1 headphones. I finally found a vendor that could make exactly that. From there, “Bounce Suede” was born. Then came the ideas on how to introduce it to the market. I was working on the STUDIO shoe inspired by the Aaron Rose desert shoe we release in 2008. The shoe definitely needed an update. We took it off the cup sole and put it on a vulcanized sole. I added the DC Pill® as a raised top stripe on the sidewall tape to give it a defined yet subtle identity.
HD: Next came the story. The star in the DC logo is a 7 point star and I have always been sensitive to DC’s heritage since growing up with the brand from its beginning. The “Bounce Suede” material was attractive enough to merchandise 7 color ways of the STUDIO to represent the 7 points in the logo. I simply felt that the blog community would best tell this story naturally. Although I wanted to take it one step further by highlighting 7 bloggers. Putting a face behind the camera lens, keyboard and URL. The goal was to create a day in the life of a blogger. What’s their philosophy on blogging, why they do it, and the products that inspire them to crave and expose their taste. We called the project “My STUDIO Session”. I hired one videographer and flew him to Montréal, New York, New Jersey and San Francisco. In the end it turns out really good for all involved. I’d like to thank Marcus Troy (curator), Joshua Kissi, Sean Quincy, Eric Johnson, Vincent Tsang, William Yan and Phil Annand. They are an admiral group to work with and I am fortunate to have received their support on this project. I encourage the readers to visit: marcustroy.com/mystudiosession on April 7th to experience the result of our collective effort.
AWKP: What can we expect for the DC Life Collection in the near future?
HD: Already on to new and exciting projects with the launch of a new collection this Fall titled NVRBRKN (Never Broken.) Its story about the journey versus the destination of overcoming adversity conceptually, mentally and physically. A skater’s spirit is never broken. Despite a major slam, their mentality is to get back on the board no matter what. What’s your NVRBRKN. story?
AWKP: Any final comments or shoutouts?
HD: Simply want to say thank you to the DC family for recruiting and taking a chance on a kid from Queens. They have allowed me to spread my wings in order to create and produce.
Follow him on Twitter: @hommydiaz