Surrounded by sun-kissed streets, art deco architecture, sandy shores and eclectic residents, Miami is a coastal city like no other. The tropical metropolis has cultivated a colorful community composed of the electric energy of its inhabitants, their cross-cultural identities and their audacious yet authentic self-expression that takes shape in various forms. From splashy fashions boasting bold colors to striking street art, the creative contributions of the city’s locals know no bounds and follow no rules. To capture the core of Miami’s disruptive style scene, Crocs headed to the streets of Miami to spotlight the city’s style expression with the new statement-making silhouette, the Echo Storm.
The latest addition to Crocs’ arsenal stays true to the brand’s ethos of creating functional yet fashionable footwear on unconventional silhouettes. As a sculpted sneaker with a dynamic design, the Echo Storm is as bold and brazen as the art that decorates Miami and the people who make it, namely Ilsse Peredo. A photographer and ceramicist, Ilsse joined forces with Crocs to give the Echo Storm a Miami makeover. Pairing the futuristic footwear offering with her self-expressive style, the multidisciplinary artist displays how her creative craft, Mexican heritage and laidback Miami lifestyle informs her approach to fashion.
To get the full scoop on her sense of style and how she interpreted the Crocs Echo Storm sneaker, Hypebae sat down with Ilsse for a candid conversation. Keep scrolling below for more.
How does your creative craft as a ceramicist and photographer inform your sense of style?
As a visual artist my creative craft can significantly influence my sense of style in many ways. For me, both ceramics and photography are forms of storytelling. [The] narrative aspect [of it] inspires my style to be more expressive, where each outfit tells a story or communicates a mood. I use both art and fashion to communicate a message. My clothing choices reflect my mood, beliefs, cultural heritage and artistic influences — similar to how my artworks do.
In what ways do you express yourself through fashion? Is it similar to how you express yourself as a multidisciplinary artist?
Fashion does not use words. Just like my artwork, it is a visual language. I use fashion for the same reason I use art: for exploration, experimentation and expression. It's one of the ways I visually express statements about my identity. As I’ve grown and evolved, so has my style. I’ve gained a sense of freedom to express myself and my evolution through both art and fashion.
How would you describe your sense of style? Has your Miami upbringing or Mexican heritage influenced your approach to fashion?
My sense of style brings together the energy of Miami with the rich cultural heritage of Mexico. It's a style that's not just about clothing but about storytelling and identity. My Mexican heritage infuses my style with a deep appreciation for artisanal work, traditional patterns, and a beautiful palette of colors. My approach to fashion is a form of self-expression that honors my past, embraces my present, and looks forward to a future where cultural boundaries blur in the fashion world.
What has been your greatest source of inspiration when it comes to developing your personal style?
Honestly, everything. I find inspiration in the world around me. Great artists I admire, men's fashion, my mom, my ancestors, practical needs of women, the want for simplicity and comfort while staying authentic. I also get inspiration from contemporary art, people watching in the streets, music culture, the colors in nature, looking back at old looks of myself and having an open mind.
When it comes to your day-to-day looks, what do you prioritize? Fashion or function?
Function. If I don't feel comfortable, I can't rock my outfit. It is not what you wear but how you wear it. When it comes to buying new pieces, I always try to remember to buy less, choose well and make it last. Quality, not quantity. Don’t buy too many things, this speaks to the idea of comfort and function in one's choices and confidence in one’s personal style rather than constantly chasing trends.
Tell me about your styling process for this shoot. How did you apply your sense of style to Crocs’ new silhouette the Echo Storm?
It was actually very easy. I have always been a big fan of Crocs since I was very young because of the endless ways that you can style them and for the comfort and functionality they provide. Also many members of my family [have worn] Crocs for a long time too, so Crocs are a thing that bring me really good memories. For this shoot, we mixed my personal pieces with Hypebae’s. Most of the pieces I own, specifically my accessories, [and they all] have a very important meaning and personal value to me, the same way Crocs do, so I was very happy to have worn both for this very special shoot.
Crocs’ new silhouette, the Echo Storm, is a disruptive new style for the footwear brand. How do you disrupt societal norms as a creative and fashion norms through your styling methods?
Disrupting societal and fashion norms through styling involves a combination of creativity, courage, authenticity, and an understanding of both current trends and historical fashion contexts. I like breaking down gender barriers in fashion by styling in a gender-neutral way by wearing clothing and accessories that are unisex or that challenge traditional gender-specific styles. I also use fashion as a platform for social commentary; I wear prints with messages that make a political statement, or themes that provoke thought and conversation. Another way that I use fashion to disrupt societal norms is by combining luxury items with streetwear or handmade pieces. This approach breaks down the barriers between different fashion spheres and democratizes style.