October 2, 2022


Forget Mediocre Fashion

In Seattle, Roller Skating Is a Fashion Haven

Sepúlveda pushes as Alex Monique “shoots the duck.”

Wonder Sepúlveda exclusively wears the coloration pink, from her hair to her knee pads to the gentle-up wheels she dyed herself. Her look developed as her competencies did.

In a online video from June 2020 captioned “I’m not the very best skater, but guy! I’m proud of that development!” Sepúlveda wears a peach-coloured floral gown and pink wrist guards to exercise spins in a parking ton by summertime 2021 she’s bought pink-dyed hair, is decked out in her signature all-pink leggings-and-sporting activities-bra combo, and she’s perfecting a 10-next toe spin. 


It’s not just her roller-skating getup that’s absent monochromatic: She suits in her occupation at Capitol Hill’s Really Parlor with cartoon-character precision (she 1st discovered the classic store after googling “cute pink boutique”). “Roller skating has surely influenced me to just be myself,” Sepúlveda states. “I was previously on that street, 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 enthusiasts began suitable around the time she and dozens of other main users of Seattle’s skate group very first rolled on to the pavement.

The pandemic prompted a thing of a roller-skating renaissance all over the world, with thousands of to start with-time skaters drawn outdoors by Covid restrictions and thoroughly curated feeds of beautiful women of all ages spinning beachside in bikinis and candy-coloured boots. Skate companies experienced trouble trying to keep up. When summer rolled about, Get Your Bearings Skate Shop, now found in the northwest corner of Lake Town, experienced shoppers snapping up common Moxi skates in minutes each time they dropped on-line. At the very least just one BuzzFeed article—crediting the “viral TikTok sensation” of a Los Angeles dancer “looking devastatingly awesome whilst skating to some J.Lo”—proclaimed “Roller Skating Is Back again in a Massive Way.”


But roller skating by no means went anywhere—especially in Black communities that popularized variations like dance-centric jam skating in spite of discriminatory practices at rinks around the place. “If you go again to the starting, you know, we experienced to protest just to get in the rink, just to be equipped to skate, just to have 1 night time a thirty day period,” states Tiffany Mason, founder of community skate group Roll All-around Seatown. 

Those grownup evenings, recognised for R&B DJs and qualified attendees, have been a element of Mason’s daily life given that she was a pre-teen growing up in Seattle now, she hosts Seatown Sunday skates at White Center’s Southgate Roller Rink, the only just one still left within just metropolis boundaries. 

For her, the activity has always been deeply intertwined with style. She recalls, at Bellevue Skate King’s 1980s grownup evenings, observing a gray-haired girl named Gertrude skating in flamboyant neon outfits. “She normally appeared like she was both coming from a parade or heading to a parade,” Mason states. The outfits “reflected the way she skated and the entertaining she was obtaining. And that constantly caught my consideration.”

When Mason skates, no matter if it is at the rink or at Judkins Park, the place Roll All over Seatown has developed Seattle’s initial reliable out of doors skating neighborhood by using tremendous-well-known, temperature-dependent social skates, she’s in flowy, bell-sleeve getups that shimmer and transfer with her (frequently in Gertrude-impressed brights). “I actually experience like I skate greater when I dress up,” Mason says—she’s even understanding to sew, so she can make her aspiration skate appears come to lifetime. “To me, they go hand in hand.”


She’s not the only just one at Judkins for whom skating has encouraged fashion layout. Nicole Spiegel, whose private skating renaissance came at the Burning Guy roller rink in 2018, works by using her working experience crafting outfits for hula-hooping and fireplace-spinning to develop outfits that make her feel both of those modern and cozy on wheels. Particularly, hand-bleached sweatpants and purely natural-fiber bodysuits lined in tailor made slits from her have trend line, Torn in Seattle. “If I just cannot do the splits in my apparel, I really do not know if I can wear it,” she states.

The concept of expressing your self as a result of skate style is one particular that resonates with a good deal of the regulars at Judkins. Sierra Wagner, who runs a further team named Seattle Skates, goes for crop tops, snake-print skates, and cinched-waist trousers that will not fall down when she drops it low (which she does, for impact). Celina Macadangdang retains a skate outfit in her vehicle at all periods these days, it’s a large-leg Adidas tracksuit. Tyler Richards wears Adidas, far too: a white, restricted-edition jumpsuit with a vibrant, orange-and-yellow sunlight embroidered on the again and “Love Unites” on the thigh. He claims “it’s entertaining to demonstrate up with as a lot color” as the graffiti art–covered walls encompassing the concrete rink in which, for the past two yrs, so substantially of Seattle’s skating magic has took place.

But do not blunder the vibrant colors and coordinated outfits for a mere trend statement. “It’s an really safe and sound space for all unique forms of individuals,” states Dalila Gittens, such as BIPOC and LGBTQ skaters. Sepúlveda concurs: “Not only are people today just open up about who they are, they are open about expressing that to everyone else.”

Fashion, of program, is not usually central—this is Seattle, after all. A lot of people costume completely for ease and comfort. And it is certainly not a prerequisite to starting to be deeply included. “This is not a clique, this is a local community,” Mason suggests. “You have a good angle, and you want to be right here, this is your property.”