For Gallatin first-year Valentina Marin, the simplicity of a good outfit is one of the most underrated pleasures of life. Marin’s favorite outfit, a basic white t-shirt, her cream linen Aritzia pants and the star of the show, her Air Skylons from the Nike x Fear of God collection, is the embodiment of Marin herself: refined but nonconformist.
Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God, known for its streetwear clout and grungy ’90s nostalgia, released its first collaboration with Nike in December 2018. The sleek black and white designs “[combine] basketball’s nostalgic history with the forward-thinking” and caught the attention of every in-the-know sneakerhead.
Sneakers first piqued Marin’s interest when, at the age of six, she would see her older brothers taking pride in their Jordans or Air Force 1’s. She then lived in South America from the ages of 10 to 13, during which time she had to stick to a rigid uniform of navy blue shoes and matching socks. When she returned home to Florida, she was finally free to develop her own style.
“I definitely discovered that for me, comfort meant sneakers,” Marin said. “In Florida, you can wear sandals, you can wear any open toed shoes but for me there’s this element of that streetwear and the variety of sneakers and how you can truly express yourself with color, with shapes, with patterns and textures.”
By the time she was a sophomore in high school, she had started her own collection. For her, sneakers represent a sort of self-expression she could always have with her.
When Marin found out she would be moving to New York in the fall, she decided it was time to reevaluate her style once again. South Florida is the land of short shorts, sandals, tank tops, t-shirts and other casual pieces that are good for the weather, but as Marin prepared for the next chapter in her life, she looked to the long pants and sneakers so prevalent in the streetwear of New York.
And so her white t-shirt, linen pants and Air Skylons check all the boxes for her perfect outfit, at least for now. It is an extension of herself and a reflection of major events in her life. Not many people can have the pleasure of saying they have a style that is all their own. It’s one of the small victories in life, and Marin has mastered it.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, print edition. Email Daniela Ortiz at [email protected]