Nora Vasconcellos’ adidas Signature Pro Silhouette Is a Force of Positivity

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Pro skateboarder and illustrator Nora Vasconcellos has become adidas Skateboarding’s first woman rider to receive and design her own Signature Pro silhouette! adidas and Vasconcellos debuted the NORA by Nora Vasconcellos collection last month, featuring the Pro silhouette alongside a range of apparel. For the Signature Pro, Vasconcellos fused design cues from adi’s Steffi Graf, Nastase and other classics into one sleek model – creating something that wouldn’t look out of place in her mum’s closet in the 90s.

To celebrate the release of the latest cloud white and shadow navy colourway, we chatted to Vasconcellos on her journey into skateboarding, how she’s breaking down the stigma around mental health, what she’s aiming to achieve and more!

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Talk about your journey into skateboarding. Where did it all begin?
Around 5 or 6, I was really into this cartoon Rocket Power. It was the first place I saw skateboarding, and the female character Reggie was my hero. I had gotten a toy skateboard that year for Christmas but didn’t really start skateboarding until I was about 12. After not making the soccer team in 6th grade, I started going to skateparks and trying to figure it out. By high school, I was pretty obsessed.

Was turning pro something you always had your sights set on, let alone joining adidas Skateboarding?
I think that was the pipe dream. I’m not sure I knew how to accomplish it. I moved to California in 2012 to work in the skate industry and just immerse myself in that world. Joining adidas was the cherry on top.

Who are your skateboarding heroes? Why?
Elissa Steamer, Louie Barletta, Marisa Dal Santo, Mimi Knoop, Mark Gonzales… the list goes on and on. I’ve really resonated with each of their creative journeys and could just watch them skate all the time. Mimi really helped me in the beginning, flowing me skateboards and helping me navigate California when I first moved here.

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nora-vasconcellos-adidas-first-woman-rider-signature-pro-silhouette

Talk about your adidas Skateboarding Signature Pro silhouette. What part of the creative process did you enjoy the most?
I mean, building anything from the ground up is exciting. I loved looking at the sneaker archive and pinpointing aspects of other shoes I thought would work great for skateboarding. Then seeing the vision come together and finally having a pair on my feet.

Like a lot of sports, skateboarding has historically been male-dominated. How are you bringing inclusivity to skating?
I mean, the world we live in is male-dominated… we still have men governing women’s bodies and paychecks. I think that any way women can thrive is beautiful, and I hope doing it in the tiny world of skateboarding will help free and empower women everywhere.

You’re quite open with your mental health journey. How are you advocating breaking down stigma in this area?
I think I just want to start conversations. I want to be approachable and not someone who is too elite to speak about their struggles. Compassion and understanding helped me heal. I want to share those tools with anyone who feels stuck or struggling.

What’s your relationship with sneakers? Did you rock the Three Stripes growing up?
Oh, I loved adidas growing up. I remember Nelly Furtado and Missy Elliott rocking the shell toes for years, and I just wanted to look that cool. I played indoor soccer as well – the Samba was a huge staple.

As a prominent female skater, what are some things you’re hoping to improve in the industry?
Overall, support and representation for non-cis male skaters is very important. Keep skateparks and skate communities inclusive and safe for everyone. I just hope more kids can use skating as a positive tool for empowerment and growth in their own lives. Having a shoe means the world to me because I hope I can be someone I didn’t have. Young people seeing people who look like them – who represent them – thriving is so important.

To shop the NORA by Nora Vasconcellos now, head to adidas!

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