Basketball Superstar Lebron James has always been the ‘King’ who never passed up on an opportunity to Acknowledge the Queens in his life so its no surprise that one of the greatest Basketball players of our time has just released a sneaker collection inspired by the ‘Strong Black Women’ in his life.
The gold, white and tan strap Nike Lebron 16’s are the Basketballer’s very first female shoes, which he designed in collaboration with Nike and the Harlem Fashion Show-An organization that helps promote and nurture multicultural designers.
These days, Lebron James seems to be all about living a lasting legacy behind as he continues to surpass himself and everyone’s expectations of him. He is a 33-year-old highly decorated and glorified Basketballer, with three championship rings and has broken countless basketball records including outscoring Basketball Legend Michael Jordan. He recently broke the tabloids and received maximum praise across the world for opening his own public school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio were he provides quality education for bullied kids.
With all this accolades attached to his name, Lebron still finds out time to be thoughtful. He sat down with Nike Nike’s global basketball footwear designer Meline Khachatourian and three of the Harlem’s Fashion Row designers—Kimberly Goldson, Fe Noel, and Undra Duncan—initially set out to create a sneaker that emphasized his belief in the power of the strong African-American woman, and specifically those in his own life, including his mother, wife, and daughter.
Khachatourian explains the design elements of the shoes, “We wanted to make this shoe a luxurious twist on the basketball sneaker, with hints of regal gold hardware and a powerful 3-D lion motif on the heel.” She adds, “On the inside sole, there are four words that you will see visualized: strength, courage, loyalty, and dignity. Every time you reach down to put the shoe on, these words will serve as a reminder of encouragement and empowerment.” Khachatourian’s signature, along with Goldson’s, Noel’s, and Duncan’s, is featured on the tongue of the sneaker, and the leather ankle strap can be removed and worn as a choker or a bracelet. “LeBron loved this when we showed him.”
James worked closely with all four women. “The designers that we chose from Harlem’s Fashion Row are strong, hardworking women who have faced a lot of obstacles in their career,” he says. “As soon as I had the opportunity to meet them, I knew they would be perfect for this. I knew that they would bring a perspective that would make this shoe something special.”
James acknowledges how crucial it is for him to use the enormous platform he has been given for social good, especially in these turbulent political times when women’s rights, those of African-American women especially, are being threatened. “I thought it was important to lend that platform to a group of people that I believe are undervalued,” he says. “I want women to know that they are recognized, that there are people who appreciate them and know that they are facing odds that others are not having to face. In spite of those odds, I want them to know that they can succeed and create the positive change that we need more of right now.”
God Bless a man that appreciates and acknowledges a Woman’s worth.
The Lebron 16 kicks will officially be released en masse on the 7th of September.