Stephen Curry and his Curry Brand pay their respect to Baltimore and its Black residents with its new Black History Month inspired sneaker.
Steph Curry and his fairly new legacy brand are teaming up with Baltimore artist, community leader, Gordon Parks Foundation Fellow, and Under Armour photographer, Devin Allen who’s photography gained national attention thanks to his first TIME cover photo that perfectly captured the 2015 Baltimore protests to celebrate Baltimore’s Black community during Black History Month.
Curry’s latest signature sneaker, the Curry 8, will be a part of the UNDR ARMR x DVNLLN collection and will be coming in a new silhouette called the “Beautiful Flow,” which is inspired by Devin Allen’s recent coffee table book “A Beautiful Ghetto” which features a collection of photos taken by the photographer that captures the beauty of Baltimore’s most overlooked communities.
The Curry 8 “Beautiful Flow” is blessed with the colors of the Pan-African flag (black, red, and green). The upper suede panel brings a more textured look to the sneaker with its asphalt look, an ode to Baltimore’s streets that signifies “the grit and resilience of the city.”
A nice hidden detail is that each shoe features a sockliner that includes encouraging messaging to help athletes “find their path, defy the odds, and help others.” The message reads:
There’s only one way.
At least, that’s what they told Stephen.
One way to shoot. One way to play.
And Devin, they said it was just a lucky shot.
That his photos would never take him anywhere.
But they both worked & worked & worked.
Gave back. Changed the way.
So, find your path. Help others find theirs.
Defy the odds. Hone your craft. Prove them wrong.
And then pass it on.
Outwork everyone. Always.
And then keep working. Keep helping others.
Love where you come from. Give back. Stay real.
The capsule collection is not the only thing coming from this unique partnership. Both Curry and Allen also partnered with retired Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith and Level 82 Fund to help build an outdoor court at West Baltimore’s Hilton Recreation Center. The location has been closed for more than 10 years and was once considered a staple for youth athletics and summer camps for kids in the city.
Allen spoke about his experience working with Curry and Smith and the desire to collaborate with the two athletes after seeing how they impact their communities.
“My first big assignment—and my first time out of the country—was to shoot Stephen during his Asia Tour in 2015. I’ve seen Stephen’s impact and how much Oakland loves him. And I’ve worked with Torrey in the Baltimore community and seen his commitment to my city, so these two guys were at the top of my list when I thought about who I wanted to collaborate with for this collection.”
Torrey Smith spoke on the love he developed for Baltimore after he moved to the city, adding:
“I didn’t really know much about Baltimore. And then when I had the opportunity to live here, you quickly fall in love with the city—a blue-collar city, a city for the fighters, a resilient city with resilient people.”
This latest effort is described as the next phase in the Curry Brand’s mission to “support athletes on the court and uplift all communities by providing safe places for kids to play and learn through basketball.” When asked what he would share with today’s youth, the electric shooter said he would share a message of perspective and gratitude.
“You have a choice. You can choose kindness, you can choose generosity, you can choose to look out for your brother and your sister to the left and the right of you. You can always choose to do the right thing, and hopefully, those decisions will continue to build on each other,” said Curry. “Sometimes you can’t see out of your circumstances, but to wake up in the morning and have a sense of gratitude for something in your life will hopefully keep you in the right direction, no matter how high the mountain you have to climb.”
Photo: Under Armour / Curry Brand/ Devin Allen For Under Armour