How to Do Unpretentious Streetwear With Parké De Colour
Streetwear is having a moment in fashion, but it’s been a closet staple for many long before the trend arrived on the digital pages of Grailed and Hypebeast. In a landscape of many often indistinguishable brands, there’s a few that shine a little brighter than the rest. One such stand-out? Parké de Colour, the project from Alex Aguilar in Kissimmee, Florida that’s the embodiment of authenticity and organic experimentation. Aguilar started Parké with no contrived plan or motive; just simply a desire to create good clothing that his friends already wanted to wear. The demand for Parké was there, and Aguilar answered it. Now, the brand is representing the vibrancy of one community while creating even more space for those still forming their crew. We sat down with Aguilar and photographer Carlos Semedo, who shot Parké’s latest look book in LA (check it in the slideshow above), with skater Tay Hicks and Cybelle Corwin of The Messy Heads.
What was the initial catalyst for Parké de Colour? How did it go from an idea to a full-on brand?
Alex Aguilar: It still feels like an idea but it was just a natural progression of expressing myself through clothing, art, skating, and wanting to document my friends and our local scene in a non-pretentious way. I would paint and print on my clothes so when my friends and people I didn’t know started asking me to sell them stuff, I just took it from there. Everything since then has been a result of experimentation and learning.
Carlos, how did you first become familiar with Parke De Colour?
Carlos Semedo: I first noticed Parké around 2016. Some skate kids and some friends I knew were always wearing his pieces. With our town being so small, it was only a matter of time until Al and I finally met. Once we finally did I think we both figured each other out pretty quickly.
Can you talk about the inspiration behind this latest collection?
Aguilar: I felt really inspired by the scene in Medellin. It’s so raw and colorful, everyone has a huge personality and all the subcultures mix together in such a unique way throughout the city. It feels like growing up in New York with energetic parks and spots where locals chill at all day and night getting into all types of trouble. Hanging out in all these different hoods opens your mind and its endearing to see young people going through similar experiences, conversations, laughs, and mischief in different contexts and languages. It feels like being with my crew in Kissimmee and it gives me the indescribable feelings and dreams I have that I try to channel into ideas for Parké.
How is designing for skaters different from other clothing? How do you design for their movement/lifestyle?
Aguilar: I wouldn’t say it’s different or that I design for them or anyone specifically. Skaters are diverse individuals and they appreciate a variety of genres and references to cultures outside of our own. They’re city kids. A lot of my friends skate but their passions and talents vary in music, art, film, partying or their careers so we’re lucky to be in the middle of everything that’s going on around us. The designs have a lot of thought and emotion put into them and I’m just lucky that people enjoy them. Girls especially because they bring so much more into the style and meaning of everything.
What was the process of bringing this clothing to life visually with a look book?
Semedo: Since it’s a lot of people’s first time even seeing the brand, I wanted to make sure the imagery did Alex’s designs justice. The only thing I knew I wanted to do was to shoot Tay Hicks for it as he’s currently the only rider for Parké De Colour. I wanted to shoot Tay very grimy but not take away from the vibrance of California or the clothes being shot. Contrasting Tay’s shoot with Cybelle‘s was the most important part because Parké’s versatility is my favorite thing about the brand. I’d love to see more women in his clothing so I wanted to show how Parké is for everyone, not just skaters.
What would you say Parké de Colour stands for? What is your ultimate goal or mission?
Aguilar: It stands for encouraging others to express themselves and be different. The ultimate goal is for the brand to be a vehicle for myself, friends and artists we collaborate with so we can reach new places and produce quality work that we’re proud of. One day I’d like to have a store where everyone in our scene can meet up, kick it, have access to brands and zines that we like because there’s nothing like that for us where we live. Then educate the youth so they can have history and continue on.
What do you think Parké De Colour represents for local skaters and more broadly?
Semedo: Parké represents family. I know Parké means so much to these Kissimmee skaters because it means so much to Alex. He’s really created a space where all people, no matter their background, can congregate and share a mutual love for something. He gives the kids out here something to believe in. I think this will just increase tenfold as Al keeps spreading his message. I can’t wait to see where he will go.
Photography: Carlos Semedo
Casting + Direction: River Studios
Stay tuned to Milk for more streetwear.