Sneakers and Social Change (Video)

Fernando Rojo, C’18, aims to empower artisans across Latin America through his company, PATOS.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Filmed and Edited by Annemarie Branco

Additional filming by Ricardo Echegaray E. and Fernando Villavicencio


As a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, Fernando Rojo, C'18, was visiting his grandparents in Buenos Aires, Argentina, when he met a shoemaker and designer named Rafael at an artisan fair. The two teamed up to create a line of shoes that used traditional Peruvian textiles. 

PATOS Shoes now employs a dozen Peruvian artisans selling products in 15 countries and includes a partnership with J.Crew. The company aims to empower artisans across Latin America through its network, allowing them to work under fair conditions and maintain their centuries-old handcrafting techniques while creating a platform for their products to enter the international markets.

Rojo, who has studied economics and mathematics, has been featured in Forbes Magazine, NBC News, and Huffington Post. He’s also written for Business Insider