September 26, 2022


Dress like a Boss

In Seattle, Roller Skating Is a Fashion Haven


Sepúlveda pushes as Alex Monique “shoots the duck.”

Wonder Sepúlveda completely wears the color pink, from her hair to her knee pads to the mild-up wheels she dyed herself. Her glimpse progressed as her techniques did.

In a online video from June 2020 captioned “I’m not the ideal skater, but man! I’m very pleased of that progress!” Sepúlveda wears a peach-coloured floral gown and pink wrist guards to observe spins in a parking large amount by summer months 2021 she’s got pink-dyed hair, is decked out in her signature all-pink leggings-and-sports activities-bra combo, and she’s perfecting a 10-second toe spin. 


It is not just her roller-skating getup which is absent monochromatic: She matches in her occupation at Capitol Hill’s Very Parlor with cartoon-character precision (she initially located the vintage keep following googling “cute pink boutique”). “Roller skating has undoubtedly motivated me to just be myself,” Sepúlveda states. “I was by now on that road, but it solidified it.”

Sepúlveda’s evolution from a makeup artist dressed in all black to a Sailor Moon–inspired “magical girl” with tens of 1000’s of TikTok followers started proper all around the time she and dozens of other main customers of Seattle’s skate group to start with rolled onto the pavement.

The pandemic prompted some thing of a roller-skating renaissance globally, with countless numbers of initial-time skaters drawn exterior by Covid constraints and meticulously curated feeds of wonderful women spinning beachside in bikinis and sweet-colored boots. Skate makers experienced hassle trying to keep up. When summer months rolled all around, Get Your Bearings Skate Shop, now situated in the northwest corner of Lake City, experienced clients snapping up popular Moxi skates inside of minutes any time they dropped on the internet. At minimum 1 BuzzFeed write-up—crediting the “viral TikTok sensation” of a Los Angeles dancer “looking devastatingly amazing when skating to some J.Lo”—proclaimed “Roller Skating Is Back again in a Big Way.”


But roller skating hardly ever went anywhere—especially in Black communities that popularized models like dance-centric jam skating in spite of discriminatory tactics at rinks all over the state. “If you go back to the commencing, you know, we experienced to protest just to get in the rink, just to be capable to skate, just to have one particular evening a thirty day period,” says Tiffany Mason, founder of local skate group Roll Close to Seatown. 

Those people grownup nights, acknowledged for R&B DJs and competent attendees, have been a component of Mason’s existence considering that she was a pre-teen rising up in Seattle now, she hosts Seatown Sunday skates at White Center’s Southgate Roller Rink, the only just one still left within metropolis limitations. 

For her, the sport has generally been deeply intertwined with vogue. She remembers, at Bellevue Skate King’s 1980s grownup evenings, observing a grey-haired female named Gertrude skating in flamboyant neon outfits. “She generally looked like she was possibly coming from a parade or likely to a parade,” Mason claims. The outfits “reflected the way she skated and the pleasurable she was obtaining. And that always caught my interest.”

When Mason skates, no matter if it’s at the rink or at Judkins Park, where by Roll Around Seatown has created Seattle’s to start with constant outside skating group through super-popular, weather conditions-dependent social skates, she’s in flowy, bell-sleeve getups that shimmer and move with her (usually in Gertrude-inspired brights). “I actually really feel like I skate much better when I costume up,” Mason says—she’s even discovering to sew, so she can make her desire skate appears to be arrive to everyday living. “To me, they go hand in hand.”


She’s not the only just one at Judkins for whom skating has inspired style design and style. Nicole Spiegel, whose personal skating renaissance arrived at the Burning Man roller rink in 2018, utilizes her practical experience crafting apparel for hula-hooping and fireplace-spinning to produce outfits that make her truly feel the two trendy and comfy on wheels. Specifically, hand-bleached sweatpants and pure-fiber bodysuits protected in customized slits from her very own style line, Torn in Seattle. “If I just can’t do the splits in my clothing, I really don’t know if I can have on it,” she claims.

The concept of expressing oneself via skate trend is a single that resonates with a whole lot of the regulars at Judkins. Sierra Wagner, who operates yet another group known as Seattle Skates, goes for crop tops, snake-print skates, and cinched-midsection trousers that won’t fall down when she drops it very low (which she does, for effect). Celina Macadangdang retains a skate outfit in her car or truck at all instances today, it is a wide-leg Adidas tracksuit. Tyler Richards wears Adidas, as well: a white, limited-version jumpsuit with a vibrant, orange-and-yellow sunlight embroidered on the back and “Love Unites” on the thigh. He claims “it’s pleasurable to demonstrate up with as much color” as the graffiti art–covered walls encompassing the concrete rink where by, for the past two yrs, so substantially of Seattle’s skating magic has happened.

But do not error the shiny colors and coordinated outfits for a mere manner statement. “It’s an incredibly harmless house for all diverse varieties of folks,” suggests Dalila Gittens, like BIPOC and LGBTQ skaters. Sepúlveda concurs: “Not only are persons just open up about who they are, they’re open about expressing that to everybody else.”

Vogue, of course, isn’t usually central—this is Seattle, soon after all. A lot of persons gown solely for ease and comfort. And it is undoubtedly not a prerequisite to starting to be deeply involved. “This is not a clique, this is a local community,” Mason claims. “You have a beneficial mind-set, and you want to be below, this is your dwelling.” 


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