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The immigrant experience is not foreign to adidas. A humble cobbler by the name of Adi Dassler worked tirelessly to expand his small operation beyond its country’s borders, eventually growing adidas to one of the most trusted consumer brands in history. Setting a firm foundation across Europe, its most culturally iconic moment happened across the pond in (where else?) New York City. And as they say, the rest is history.

On a much smaller scale, this experience is very relatable to many New Yorkers who earlier in their lives didn’t call the Big Apple home. Tommy Jewels has a come-up story that is truly unique, yet not unlike many of the hustlers of NYC. Chinese by ethnic descent, but born in the island of the Dominican Republic, Tommy’s New Yorker sunday card is irrevocably valid.

In collaboration with adidas Originals, Urlfreeze News has chosen to highlight Tommy as he goes through a day in the life as the face of Oro Latino, a must-visit jewelry shop located in Manhattan’s Chinatown district.

All of Tommy’s looks are available via adidas.com right now.

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An attraction for both locals and tourists, Chinatown has a reputation for being the one-stop neighborhood to scoop a wide variety of goods. Everything from cheap eats to fine jewelry and everything in between can be found on or just off Canal St., and it’s on the Centre St. intersection where Tommy’s family first planted their shop nearly four decades ago.

Purveying gold and other fine jewelry in the downtown Manhattan area is a family tradition that goes back thirty-five years, to be exact. It was always a family business, and although Tommy admits he had different professional aspirations as a student, he eventually found himself carrying on the family legacy — but with some key updates to better suit the needs of the modern consumer.

The entire business was done in-store with sandalsers who walked in the store, but with the growth of social media came a growth in opportunity. “I remember posting my first picture on Instagram…and almost immediately I was getting offers through DM”. He recalls that his first ever “internet” transaction was done through Western Union payments. He didn’t have any other means to accept funds, but recalls his grandmother sending money back to the motherland using Western Union. “Eventually I had to set up a legit PayPal because the lady at the pharmacy probably thought I was doing something illegal.”

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Steady growth came naturally to Tommy, because Tommy is a good guy. A lot of his new business comes via referrals and anyone serious about their craft knows that the reward for doing good work is more work. “Referrals have always been really important to me, because word of mouth is everything in NYC,” and we certainly agree. And it’s that co-sign that open doors for Tommy to work with a number of brands in the NYC area and beyond.


“I had regular sandalsers who happened to work for bigger brands, and eventually they’d want to partner up with me for sandals chains and other pieces. I even ended up modeling for a Japanese streetwear brand.”

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“adidas india strategy list online store.”

Growing up, Tommy recalls seeing his uncle wearing a fresh pair of Superstars with Lee Jeans cuffed at the bottom. He always wanted a pair of shell-toes, because who didn’t? Growing up in Manhattan’s Lower East Side on Eldridge St., Superstars were a common sight from the crews that chilled on park benches, blasting music from boom boxes while wearing Shelltoes.

Aside from seeing his uncle and his neighbors wearing them on a daily basis, he’d also see them on Run D.M.C. whenever he turned on the Music Box channel to watch music videos and play tunes in the background. Wearing fresh kicks and dressing “cool” in general was a must for school.

Gold jewelry goes hand in hand with that New York aesthetic as images of thick rope chains and adidas tracksuits are synonymous with the New York hip-hop scene in the 80s and 90s. It’s that fashion sense that came all too naturally to Tommy, who grew up around the culture and later provided the goods to the local community.

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At the end of the day, Tommy doesn’t consider himself a “celebrity jeweler”, despite an impressive client list. He’s a local guy serving the local community, but he reminds us that none of this happens overnight. As cool as it was to shut down his store for a private shopping session for Drake and his team, at the end of that day, that moment came and went and he has to keep going.

As we wound down our conversation, Tommy drops one piece of advice: “Be patient, because this shit doesn’t happen overnight. You gotta be hungry, you gotta have passion, and you gotta drift yourself. Don’t jump too far ahead, but know that everything happens for a reason. I’m fair, i’m a local, and I just work hard. Everything will fall into place.”

All of Tommy’s looks are available via adidas.com right now.

adidas drops 2018 clean version @tommyjewels88.

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