Nike is already winning with their latest Just Do It ad campaign and this newest move cements not only the athletic brand’s goat status, but it’s headlining signature athlete LeBron James as well.
LeBron James is making it loud and clear that he is more than just an athlete by using his massive platform to his community but to continue to empower others around him. Just in time for New York Fashion Week, the Akron native teamed up with Harlem Fashion Row, a New York City-based fashion collective started in 2007 to showcase multicultural designers.
The goal of the union was to combine the voices of both James and HFR who make it their business to empower others and bring to life a shoe embodies the strength of African American Women. The end result was the HFR x LeBron 16 which is the first LeBron signature line to be designed by women.
The three designers Kimberly Goldson, Felisha Noel, and Undra Celeste Duncan were handpicked by HFR founder Brandice Daniels based on their previous work and a passion for sports. They took their talents to Nike World Headquarters and teamed up with Nike global basketball footwear designer, Meline Khatachourian and longtime footwear designer behind James’ signature sneakers Jason Petrie to learn the ropes on making a performance shoe. With their newly acquired knowledge, they headed back to New York City for a design session and went to work on the sneaker.
“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.”
The result is a very smooth take on the LeBron 16 that features an upper with a removable strap that helps the sneaker make a smooth transition from the streets to the court.
The HFR x LeBron 16 made it’s debut September 4 at the Harlem Fashion Row Showcase Gala. James was in attendance and was honored for his social impact and contributions to the community. As for the sneaker, this particular one means a lot more to the Los Angeles Lakers newest star.
“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.”
The sneakers will be available via Nike’s SNKR’s app and Nike.com in North America $200. Be quick though these stylish kicks are very limited and will be gone quickly.
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