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8th March 2024 EDT FEATURES

International Women’s Day: Forget Glass Ceilings, These Women are Crushing The Sneaker Game

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International Women’s Day: Forget Glass Ceilings, These Women are Crushing The Sneaker Game
International Women’s Day: Forget Glass Ceilings, These Women are Crushing The Sneaker Game

Today, on International Women’s Day, we celebrate the powerful women who are pushing boundaries and redefining the narrative in the sneaker industry. From designers to influencers, these women are not just wearing the latest kicks; they’re creating them, shaping trends, and inspiring a generation.

Gone are the days when sneakers were solely a male-dominated domain. Women like Aleali May, the second woman ever to collaborate with Jordan Brand, are paving the way for a more inclusive future. Her designs, often inspired by personal experiences and cultural references, resonate with a diverse audience and showcase the unique perspectives women bring to the table.

Celebrating women sneaker collaborators is not just about recognizing their achievements, but also about amplifying their voices and fostering a more equitable industry.

As we move forward, let’s continue to champion the creativity, passion, and influence of these remarkable women who are shaping the future of sneakers, one step at a time.

Let’s take a look at 10 amazing collaborations between women and sneaker brands:

1. Aleali May x Jordan Brand

A multi-talented force in fashion, Aleali May has had a successful and ongoing partnership with Jordan Brand since 2016. Her collaborations showcase her unique touch on various Jordan silhouettes, drawing inspiration from her personal experiences and cultural influences.

Praised for both design and storytelling, these collaborations continue to be a testament to her creativity and influence.

2. Wales Bonner x adidas

British fashion designer Wales Bonner is known for exploring cultural identity and craftsmanship. She imbues adidas silhouettes with a sophisticated and timeless aesthetic, drawing inspiration from diverse sources like traditional African garments and European tailoring. Reimagining tracksuits, jerseys, and sneakers, her focus lies on quality materials, intricate details, and a relaxed fit.

This fusion of sportswear and high fashion has garnered critical acclaim, appealing to a fashion-forward audience who appreciates both adidas’ heritage and Bonner’s unique vision.

3. Sandy Liang x Salomon

Rising fashion star Sandy Liang partners with the renowned outdoor brand Salomon to create unique collections.

Liang, known for her feminine and playful designs, brings a fresh perspective to Salomon’s heritage of performance and practicality. Both brands share a focus on functionality, with Liang prioritizing comfort in her designs, inspired by her New York lifestyle.

This common ground allows them to create collaborations that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also practical and wearable.

4. Martine Rose x Nike

London-based designer Martine Rose is known for her playful and gender-bending approach to fashion. Her collaboration with Nike redefines women’s football attire, pushing boundaries with tailored pieces and innovative designs.

Inspired by her vision for the next generation of footballers, Rose’s creations are not only stylish but also celebrate female empowerment and inclusivity in sports.

5. Daniëlle Cathari x New Balance

Dutch designer Daniëlle Cathari, recently appointed Creative Director of Kith Women, has made waves in the sneaker world with her collaboration with footwear giant New Balance.

This partnership saw Cathari reimagine the classic New Balance 991v2, resulting in a unique and stylish sneaker. The collaboration marks a significant moment for both Cathari and New Balance, showcasing Cathari’s ability to blend contemporary design with established footwear functionality.

It also demonstrates New Balance’s commitment to collaborating with diverse creative minds to push the boundaries of their classic styles.

This successful collaboration, which includes the well-received “Matcha” released in February 2024, paves the way for future partnerships between Cathari and New Balance, further solidifying her position as a rising star in the fashion industry.

6. Cecilie Bahnsen x ASICS

Cecilie Bahnsen, a rising star known for her feminine and romantic designs featuring delicate fabrics, ruffles, and voluminous silhouettes, collaborates with ASICS, a well-established brand synonymous with performance and functionality.

This seemingly disparate partnership has captured the imagination of the fashion world. Bahnsen’s delicate touch is applied to ASICS’s technical expertise, resulting in a unique collection that pushes the boundaries of aesthetics.

The collaboration highlights the versatility of femininity, showcasing how it can be both graceful and powerful.

7. Martine Ali x Converse

Jewelry designer Martine Ali, renowned for her bold and edgy aesthetic, brings her unique perspective to the iconic brand Converse. This collaboration redefines the boundaries of streetwear and accessories.

Ali infuses her signature style into classic Converse silhouettes, creating pieces that resonate with a diverse audience. Her keen eye for detail and innovative approach result in collections that seamlessly blend Converse’s heritage with Ali’s contemporary vision.

Through this collaboration, Ali empowers women to express themselves authentically while pushing creative boundaries in fashion and accessories. Together, they redefine what it means to be a designer in the streetwear industry, inspiring a new generation.

8. Rihanna x PUMA

Barbadian singer and fashion icon Rihanna, known for her trendsetting style and entrepreneurial spirit, joined forces with the German sportswear brand PUMA in 2014.

This powerful collaboration saw Rihanna not just as a brand ambassador but as the Women’s Creative Director, playing a hands-on role in shaping the brand’s identity. She brought her unique perspective and fashion expertise to the table, influencing designs, materials, and overall aesthetic.

The collaboration proved to be a success, not only boosting PUMA’s sales and brand image but also solidifying Rihanna’s status as a fashion icon. Their combined influence helped redefine the boundaries of athleisure, blurring the lines between performance and style.

9. Colette’s Sarah Andelman x Vans

Sarah Andelman, a pioneering figure known for her innovative work with Colette and collaborations with various labels, including Vans, has broken barriers and redefined creative boundaries in a male-dominated industry.

Her collaboration with Vans, a globally renowned skateboarding-inspired brand, showcases her ability to infuse her unique aesthetic into diverse projects.

Through this partnership, Andelman brings her distinct vision to Vans’ classic silhouettes, blending streetwear sensibilities with high-fashion elegance. By collaborating with Vans, Andelman not only expands her creative reach but also contributes to the brand’s ongoing legacy of innovation and inclusivity.

Her designs reflect a commitment to pushing boundaries and challenging conventions, paving the way for future generations of female designers to make their mark in the industry.

10. Jazerai Allen-Lord x Reebok

A multi-faceted talent in the sneaker industry, Jazerai Allen-Lord made history in 2019 by becoming the first woman to design a sneaker for Reebok. This collaboration, part of Reebok’s “It’s A Man’s World” campaign, challenged traditional gender norms with a unisex shoe featuring Allen-Lord’s signature touch, like a handwritten note on the insole.

Known for her strong voice and dedication to breaking down stereotypes, Allen-Lord’s design resonated with the campaign’s message of empowerment and inclusivity, further solidifying her influence and the growing presence of female designers in the evolving sneaker landscape.

In conclusion, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, these ten collaborations serve as a powerful testament to the remarkable women shaping the sneaker industry.

From established icons like Rihanna and Aleali May to rising stars like Daniëlle Cathari and Cecilie Bahnsen, these individuals are leaving their mark through their unique visions, innovative approaches, and unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries.

These partnerships not only contribute to stylish and functional footwear but also empower female creatives, redefine the boundaries of fashion and athletic wear, and celebrate inclusivity within the traditionally male-dominated sneaker scene.

As the influence of these collaborations continue to grow, we can look forward to an even brighter future for women in sneaker design, marked by continued innovation, self-expression, and empowerment.

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