New Yorker Diana “Didi” Rojas is the artist behind the giant ceramic Balenciaga Crocs and Stan Smith
Since making her first clay shoe in 2016, Didi has been playing with proportions and bringing to life high fashion exclusives such as Vetements’ flame-print platform boots and Fenty x Puma’s flip-flop heels in gigantic and minuscule ceramic forms. Her work has become iconic like the originals, which is why Adidas approached her for their new book. From flashy sneakers to sculpting, we find out how Didi creates her art.
View this post on Instagram
This was super special! Thank you to everyone who made it possible and came out to support! Special ❤️ to @kathy__grayson and the whole @theholenyc team! It means so much to me to have been able to b a part of it and get to show my work alongside some of my favorite #ceramic artists #AliceMackler @roseeken @joakimojanen #DanMcCarthy just to name a few!!! ❤️ pic @pannyc vid @parais0perdid0
Born in Cali, Colombia, Didi moved to New Jersey with her family when she was 5 years old. Didi has a twin sister called Mars. Their parents growing up were incredibly supportive of the pair exploring the creative arts as a career. Didi and Mars both went to Pratt Institute in New York, so they relocated across the bay to Brooklyn. Didi originally studied Communications Design but ceramics always appealed to her-so she was eventually pulled into this world despite not majoring in it.
Didi took a ceramics class at school and knew that's what she wanted to do from that moment. She began experimenting with ceramic food and pots, which evolved into larger-than-life mobile phones and technology, which paved the way for a ceramic Nike Air Force 1. She told us:
"I began making the sneakers I owned or that friends would let me borrow when I started the project. I noticed that my own pair of Air Force 1's looked like they were ceramic from how much I would wear them to the studio so I decided to try sculpting them. They were so worn out and a bit encrusted with clay! I saw it as a challenge."
A few pairs of sneakers later, Didi started toying with the idea of recreating some of the high fashions most exclusive and favorite pieces in gargantuan sizes. "Fake it till ya make it am I right," she said on Instagram when referring to one of the shoes. Didi began working solely from just photos of sneakers instead of having an original by her side.