Nike and LeBron James have teamed up with Harlem’s Fashion Row, a platform for designers of color, to create HFR x LeBron 16, his first women’s basketball sneaker,
LeBron James collaborates with Harlems Fashion Row in creating HFR x LeBron 16, with, a platform for designers of color, his first women’s basketball sneaker was designed by women for women. Three of Harlem’s Fashion Row designers Kimberly Goldson Undra Duncan and Fe Noel were approached for the project, which strives to reflect the power of African American women in the sneaker’s design .
The words strength, courage, loyalty, and dignity is printed. “Every time you reach down to put the shoe on, these words will serve as a reminder of encouragement and empowerment,” says Nike global basketball footwear designer, Meline The sneakers come in a white colorway with gold details and a molding of a roaring lion baring its teeth at the heel. The sneaker also has a removable strap, which you can wear with the kicks or alone as an ankle bracelet. The inside sole, according to Vouge, is printed with the words strength, courage, loyalty, and dignity. “Every time you reach down to put the shoe on, these words will serve as a reminder of encouragement and empowerment,” says Nike global basketball footwear designer, Meline Khachatourian, who also worked on the shoe.
Nike has shown support for black women as well as Colin Kaepernik. Recently LeBron posted a carousel to Instagram featuring all the black women covering the September issues of major magazines. “Nothing in this world is more POWERFUL than Colored Women!!” he captioned the post. “Thank you all for continuing to not settle and setting great examples in life for so many looking up to you for inspiration/guidance and love!! My daughter is watching!” While James did get some applause for the post, as one might have predicted, he did catch flack from the “All Lives Matter” crowd. And while this shoe is for all women, the source of its inspiration, whether it is controversial to you, should be celebrated”James has been quite outspoken, not only in his support for Nike’s Kaepernick Ad Campaign, but also in his support for all black women.
LeBron James has cemented his position as one of the best basketball players to ever play the game, but that has never been enough for the Akron native. James has always strives to be more than just a basketball player. He has made an impact in the community by emphasizing education and using his powerful platform to empower those around him.
Harlem Fashion Row, the New York City-based fashion collective, was created in 2007 to showcase the work of multicultural designers, particularly from women who are impacting the community.
The collaboration between James and Harlem Fashion Row was natural: Take two voices devoted to empowering others and combine them to create a shoe that honors the strength of African American women everywhere. The result is the HFR x LeBron 16, the first LeBron signature shoe to be reimagined by female designers.
“I believe that African American women are some of the strongest people on earth. I grew up around some amazingly strong women and am inspired by the strength I see around me, including my mom, wife and daughter.”
Recognizing HFR’s mission to provide a space for fashion designers of color to build profitable businesses, Nike and LeBron James asked the fashion collective to transform the original concept of the LeBron 16. HFR founder Brandice Daniels selected three designers to tackle the project — Kimberly Goldson, Felisha Noel and Undra Celeste Duncan — based on their previous work and passion for sport.
“The collaboration has led to a fusion of something that’s incredibly exciting — not just a shoe, but a message that’s inspiring to other women,” said Khatachourian.
Kimberly Goldson says the designers and James felt a kinship the moment that he described his vision for the shoe.
“We each had something that connected the four of us based on what LeBron saw from his mom, and the sacrifices she made for him,” says Goldson. “My mom did it. LeBron’s mom did the same for him. The connectivity was there between all of us.”
James was honored for his contribution and influence to the community at the Harlem Fashion Row Showcase Gala on September 4, during which the HFR x LeBron 16 was unveiled . Even though he’s witnessed several signature shoes in his career, the seeing the fruition of the HFR x LeBron 16 is deeply satisfying .
“As someone who has a platform, because of what I do, I thought it was important to lend that platform to a group of people that I believe are under-recognized,” says James. “Being the son, husband and father of strong African American women, I felt like this was something I wanted to do for them and for all the strong women out there who are succeeding despite what might be stacked against them.”
In its cooperative creation, the HFR x LeBron 16 is a symbol of unified strength. The shoe was always be inspired by a greater mission than its individual parts one focused on assisting others.
the “What The” theme but rather than save it for a release late in the life of a signature shoe, the LeBron 16 sees it at the forefront of the product’s cycle is the stratrgy Nike continuing to utilize. Mismatched pair is called the Nike LeBron 16 “1 Thru 5,” releases on Saturday, Sept. 15.
This is the first Nike collaboration with designers from Harlem Fashion World on a female only pair.
The “1 Thru 5” model shows appreciation to James’ versatility that allows for him to effectively play all five positions on the Basketball court. The mix of colors and daring color patterns purportedly is a combination of the first wave of releases for the LeBron 16 kicks
The left shoe includes rainbow like Battleknit 2.0, technology Nike is using the LeBron 16 to launch. The right shoe has a cheetah-print tongue with a less flamboyant color for its upper.
Other elements that have been seen on various versions of LeBron 16 include an embossed lion’s head on the heel of the right shoe featured on the “1 Thru 5”. At the back of the left shoe has James’ signature logo and “sixteen.”
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