Skating has played a pivotal role in Black culture for decades.
From civil rights movements to a resurgence of Black skaters across social media during the pandemic to give us all a glimpse of Black joy — these are all a part of a larger story of the rich Black history that’s shaped the world of roller skating as we know it.
On Aug. 10, Adobe announced a new project with “Widows” actress Cynthia Erivo. The project “Stories on Skates” transforms the narrative of the rich history of the Black skate community around the world into 3D roller skate designs aimed to share the prolific stories and history which all have been influenced by the rink.
“I was so excited to work with Adobe on Stories on Skates to showcase Black skating culture, especially as an expression of Black joy and creativity,” shared Erivo in an official press release. “This project brings to life stories from the rink that are inspiring, important, and deserve to be remembered. My hope is that Stories on Skates is a fitting tribute to skating and Black culture while celebrating its rich history in music, movement, style, empowerment, community, and legacy.”
Thanks to Adobe’s Substance 3D texturing tools, the skating stories will come to life in a way that’s never been done before.
Not only will the project cover style and community, but each 3D skate design embodies a story about how Black skaters have influenced the culture all around the world.
“It’s been a joy to work with Cynthia on Stories on Skates and bring her bold, bright energy to this campaign,” shared Sebastien Deguy, Adobe’s VP of 3D & Immersive. “This project illuminates how Adobe’s 3D vision goes beyond just a set of tools and brings creative visions and culture to life in new, immersive mediums. With Cynthia’s help, we hope Stories on Skates shines a light on the joy and impact of skating culture for the Black community.”
Designs include the Skate With Soul skate, which stems from music that has filled rinks for centuries including funk, Hip-Hop, rap, and soul. The skates are also coupled with textures from the skating era like auxiliary cables, clear acrylic, and vintage records.
The Rattle and Roll (choreography) skate is influenced by patterns of organic textures like leather, quilted fabric, and suede and sets out to illustrate the natural repetition and organic flow of choreographies, much like we see in the viral Instagram, TikToks, and videos that have taken the Internet by storm.