Sneakerheads were shocked this week to find that the Lebron ’16 shoe isn’t just your typical Nike designer collaboration. Instead of looking to the leads of European design houses like Balmain, or Givenchy, LeBron James intentionally choose to design his first ever women’s basketball shoe with the help of three Black women from Harlem’s Fashion Row.
The shoe was unveiled September 4th at the 11th Annual Harlem’s Fashion Row New York Fashion Week event.
Brands were once hesitant to work with the organization for fear of alienating potential consumers but through years of determination they have become one of fashion week’s most buzzed about collectives.
LeBron James who was also an honoree at this year’s style awards and fashion show chose not only to honor the event with his presence he chose to provide it with his access. As legendary model and industry trailblazer and another of the evening’s honorees Bethann Hardison said moves like this are “changing the perception that the Black designer doesn’t exist.”
Having the opportunity to design a shoe for Nike provides a designer not only with a different level of prestige but also with an economic boost as well. This a necessity since Black designers still have to do twice as much to achieve half as far than their white counterparts due to a lack of capital available in our community.
The theme of the event, where guests were encouraged to wear black tie and Nikes, was fittingly #TheStrongest and at the podium James thanked some of the strongest women in his life his mother, his wife and long time partner Savannah, and his baby girl Zhuri who he brought along to share the view of the loving crowd from his hip.
Beauties, we want to know what you think of the new shoe collaboration. Take our poll, below: