WORDS BY LIKE THE WIND – PHOTOGRAPHY BY LARSZETH
For a running crew – or any organised group, for that matter – to have an impact, it needs to have a mission. A reason to exist. The people who are part of that group need to know why they are there. The “reason why” is a crucial element of the success of Mexico City-based crew DROMO. And being sure of the mission is the reason that Diadora’s partnership with DROMO is so strong: crew and brand are aligned.
To find out more, there is no one better to talk to than DROMO co-founder Sindo. After all, the crew exists because of his vision and creativity. We sat down with Sindo to explore DROMO’s collaboration with Diadora, which goes beyond regular brand/crew tie-ups… in fact, it goes as far as co-creating a special edition of Diadora’s iconic Atomo V7000 shoe.
Sindo wasn’t always a runner. His US west-coast upbringing sent him towards another sport entirely. “I’ve been skateboarding since I was 11 years old,” he says. “I lived in California when I was a kid, back in the eighties. So I grabbed on to skateboarding in ’84 or ’85. Something like that.” Later his career took him over the border to Mexico. “I was a head of art for an advertising agency in Mexico,” he explains. “I studied graphic design and I also taught it in a design school.” But he still wasn’t a runner. In fact, he worked in design for 26 years before two friends encouraged him to start running. You won’t be surprised to learn he was soon hooked.
However, it was global running culture that truly inspired Sindo to take his own interaction with the sport to the next level. “When I started to see all the different things that people were doing around the world in terms of running crews,” he says. “It really blew my mind.” He fell in love with the idea of mixing art, design, music, fashion and culture with running. Creativity was his lifeforce and he could see myriad ways to combine it with the activity that was fast becoming an important thing in his life.
“I really wanted to be part of the of the movement of running crews,” he explains. “Here in Mexico, in those days, we didn’t have any of that.” Sindo looked to crews such as Bridge Runners in New York, Parkdale Roadrunners in
Toronto and RunDemCrew in London for inspiration. But perhaps more importantly, when creating DROMO, he then added a clear mission and some uniquely Mexican aspects to the crew concept.
Hitting the streets with some of the 150 or so DROMO runners, it is immediately clear that Mexico City is a very special place. The city has a spirit of creativity and unity and DROMO reflects this, forming an eclectic family that spans generations and backgrounds.
DROMO runners use the city of nine million people as a canvas on which to express their creativity through running. The crew, which includes designers, musicians, artists and others, meets several times each week. They challenge themselves with dynamic track sessions as well as long, steady mid-week runs. And it is the love of the city which explains the mission that DROMO’s members have set themselves – to put Mexico City and the whole country, back on the running map.
Sindo says that the way he is trying to achieve the crew’s mission is through a sort of “running diplomacy”, making global connections with runners around the world. DROMO runners are especially passionate about city marathons and travel far and wide to participate in races, bringing their unique vibes with them wherever they go. “We try to do one or two marathons a year,” he explains. “Almost the entire crew do one marathon each year altogether. That is a big part of the drive for me, being connected with the sport. And also with the people. The running community.”
As part of their mission to make connections with runners around the world, DROMO came into contact with Diadora and quickly formed a bond with the Italian sports apparel brand. Diadora’s creatives almost instantly realised that authenticity was a key shared characteristic with both themselves and DROMO. Close ties between creatives are at the heart of Diadora’s shoe-production process – creatives such as the DROMO runners, who understand not just the sport but also running culture.
It was through this shared understanding of what running is – and, crucially, what it can be – that the ATOMO V7000 DROMO was born. Taking inspiration from the fog that often creeps over Mexico City, muting the colours of the sunrises and shading the streets as the DROMO crew set off for their early morning runs, the shoe is a genuine expression of two creative forces coming together.
With the new shoe out, the partnership between Diadora and DROMO has a physical expression. But how would Sindo describe the deeper connection between the brand and the crew?
“Friendship. It is all about connection between people, more than the brand and crew themselves,” he says. “I think we believe in the same things. We have the same beliefs and attitude. And that’s the primary reason we make such good partners.”
Going back to the beginning of DROMO, initially there was just Sindo, his wife and a handful of friends. But there was a love of running… and a desire to make something great.
The same can be said for Diadora – the brand is imbued with a deep passion for running, and the small, committed team share a dream to make great products for runners.
No wonder the partnership between Diadora and DROMO feels so right.
Find out more about the DROMO / diadora collab at www.diadora.com IG: @diadora