Meet Palladium’s Hommy Diaz

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One of the hottest brands of the moment thanks to recent appearances on multiple catwalks, Palladium is THE casual footwear brand to be seen in. We speak to Hommy Diaz, global product line manager who’s based in America to talk talent, Brad Pitt and why the future’s looking rosy.

Once worn by the French Legion, Palladium has been creating boots since 1947. What do you think it is about the brand that continues to make it so popular?
Our boots are both functional and versatile and they allow consumers to go from rough terrain to a meeting or evening event while still looking and feeling appropriate. Also, take a look at today’s trends from street fashion and Americana to technical sportswear and preppy styling and you’ll find that Palladiums work with each and every look.

Can you talk us through the inspiration of AW14?
As a teenager I had a job at retail at an Army & Navy store in Flushing, Queens [New York] and one of the brands we carried was Alpha Industries. It was my first introduction to them and I was captivated by their use of technical fabrics, functional detailing and attention to quality. I knew within a week of starting here that both Alpha and Palladium would make a solid fit for a collaboration. It just makes sense given the parallels of both brands’ histories and contributions to military wear. This AW14 that collaboration will be launched with a modern footwear-led interpretation of the iconic MA-1 flight jacket.

If you could only choose one pair of Palladiums from AW14, which style would you go for?
Definitely the Alpha Industries collab Pampa boot. I’m wearing a pair right now in olive green. The boots feature the same side-opening metal zippers used on the sleeve pockets of the jackets and the boots are lined with the same Emergency Orange weatherproof nylon featured on the original MA-1 jackets.

Palladium has recently teamed up with graduate designers including Ravensbourne’s Jessica Goddard to provide shoes for their final collections. What is it about these kind of partnerships that really appeals to Palladium?
Graduate designers are the fashion industry’s great talents of the future. I believe every fashion brand has an obligation to assist student designers in whatever way they can so that they graduate with the best possible opportunity to make a mark for themselves in the commercial world.

Your shoes were also seen on the catwalks of Christopher Raeburn, Liam Hodges and Alan Taylor during The SS15 London Collections: Men shows. How did this come about?
There’s a palpable resurgence in the popularity of Palladiums at the tastemaker level and our shoes and boots are the perfect accompaniment to the technical sports and contemporary casualwear looks coming through on the catwalks. Christopher Raeburn, Liam Hodges and Alan Taylor are three of the hottest names in directional menswear right now and it’s no coincidence that all three wanted to feature Palladiums on their SS15 catwalks. We were thrilled to collaborate with all three designers, the variety of whose collections only emphasised how current and diverse Palladium footwear is.

If you could see one celebrity in a pair of Palladiums, who would it be?
The characteristics of our boots have organically attracted the likes of Brad Pitt, who is just one definition of the modern Palladium wearer. Brad’s been photographed all summer wearing a pair of Khaki Pallabrouse Baggy boots at various appearances across two different continents. Then he was photographed at the Independent Spirit Awards in LA sporting a pair of all-black Pampa Hi boots.
Personally, I would love to see Idris Elba wearing a pair of Palladiums.

Thanks to your recent collaborations and short films, it’s already been a pretty exciting year for Palladium. What will you be doing to make it even better?
We have an awesome collaborations lined up for SS15 which we can’t even talk about right now. We’re also close to announcing a partnership with an incredible UK artist which we’re planning a secret UK gig for. Add to that a new battalion of established bloggers that we are recruiting across men’s and womenswear to become Palladium’s grass roots reporters and you can tell that we have every intention of keeping the Palladium momentum in fifth gear.

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