This isn’t the first time LA-based model and stylist Aleali May designed a pair of killer kicks that made us reach into our purse and drop some coin. Her latest collaboration with Jordan is even hotter! May’s “Califia” Air Jordan 1 Zoom CMFT and apparel dropped this week and it might have been delayed, but it was worth the wait.
The classic high-top 1’s gets a blue and green remix with metallic finishes. Named after a fictional queen from the fifteenth century who appears in the novel Las sergas de Esplandian (where California is inhabited by only Black women and is led by Queen Calafia), May continues to make stylistic choices that empower women, especially in the sneaker world.
The royal blue and prime green colorway also pay homage to her drill team in middle and high school. It was during that time the designer fell in love with varsity jerseys and streetwear clothing.
Women are often left out of the sneakerhead community. Sneakers are often associated with men and sports reaffirming the stereotype that women-led sports are less adequate. Sports like ballet, cheerleading, drill teams, etc require strength and discipline as well.
May went back to interview her drill coach Shanora Holloway who speaks to how the clothing gives the young girls on the team the confidence to perform. “The swag and the clothes bring the routine out. It helps the girls become a little bit more hyped”, Holloway said in an interview found on the Jordan website.
“Being bold and confident in who we are for members of this community, our responsibility is more important than our fear. It is our responsibility to maintain a community mindset that reflects our legacy as powerful and passionate women. Not just for ourselves, but for those to come,” she captioned a promotional video on Instagram.
This collection is May’s fourth collaboration with Jordan, but this is the first one where she adds clothes to match. Some of the varsity-inspired pieces include a vintage letterman jacket, pleated shorts, white tearaway pants, and a layered top similar to one Micheal Jordan is wearing in his most famous image.
The entire collection celebrates women in sports and is inspired by Black women in general. May started her career working with Don C and Virgil Abiohs. Ever since then, she’s been bridging the gap between women’s fashion and athletic clothing.