Images: NIKE

Images: NIKE

When women do amazing things in the sneaker community, it’s only right that we take some time out to recognize them. But when a Latina female puts a special narrative behind the design of a Nike silhouette to represent for her roots – we pay close attention. Last year, Nike brought participants from all over the globe together through design workshops. While putting their creative juices to use in Nike’s On Air contest each contestant connected the dots to designs that told a story. The winners were narrowed down to 6 individuals, representing different cities around the world.

Gabrielle Serrano hails from the city that never sleeps, which ultimately birthed a passion for celebrating diversity. As a seasoned sneaker collector, Gabrielle (Gaby) knew what it took to create a dope shoe that spoke to the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. The contest was more than just sneaker design and votes. It was about paying homage to her city and the people that enrich the culture there. Honestly, you can say Gaby’s Nike Air Max 98 was made with love, and spoke to the true meaning of what sneakHER culture is all about – inspiring others through a common bond.

CNKDaily had the opportunity to sit down with Gaby (did we mention she is also the first Latina female to win!) and get to know her journey as well as the details that made her “La Mezcla” AM98 one of the most anticipated sneakers of the year.

Images: NIKE

Images: NIKE

THE NIKE ON AIR CONTEST IS KIND OF A BIG DEAL…

It feels amazing, I was super excited when I found out I won. I didn't realize what a big deal it was until I started getting messages from women. And Latinas saying they were happy they finally had someone to represent them. It was pretty cool to hear girls say they are now inspired to follow their dreams, and they weren't before.

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING INCLUSIVE WHEN CREATING A SNEAKER…

Everyone wears sneakers, and it doesn't really matter what point you are in your life - rich or poor. I think it's important, especially as a woman. The sneaker industry is pretty male-dominated, therefore the importance is on including everyone. I made it a point that this shoe was very inclusive, even down to the shades of skin complexions on it. On the heel tab, I included Vitiligo because I wanted to make sure it had all skin tones.

ASPIRE TO INSPIRE…

The sneaker was based on my city (NYC), but I also designed it around my family and people that I am close with that represent the city and the diversity of it. All my friends are very diverse and they are all from different countries. My family is a family of immigrants. Being from New York, one of the most diverse cities - you can actually travel the world without ever leaving.

Image: Colin Ridgway

Image: Colin Ridgway

IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS…

I wanted to be very detailed because I am big sneakerhead and have been collecting for a while. To see my friends who did collabs and to watch them go through the design process, I watched how important the details were to them. I wanted to make sure I put emphasis on every single detail. Down to the laces - the teal represents the Statue of Liberty. The blue was more for the New York teams - I'm a Knicks fan - and also for the water like Ellis Island.

WHAT WOMEN WANT…

I think my shoe is a perfect example that you don't have to shrink it and make it pink and put glitter on it for women to like it. That was something I really wanted to focus on, because originally I had multiple design ideas. This shoe was the sixth rendering I had which ended up being the final sample. I first considered a full Statue of Liberty colorway, but that could have been seen as one-sided or for one sex and I wanted it for everyone. It was important for women and young designers to know that women don't have to have a certain colorway for it to appeal to them.

Images: NIKE

Images: NIKE

ON PUSHING THE CULTURE FORWARD…

Supporting each other is a really big deal. We always ask everyone else to support us. As women we need to lift each other up, and if we are doing projects we need to continue the support. That will help because we are stronger together than as one person.

GABY ON SNEAKHER CULTURE…

Right now women are killin' the sneaker game - like Jordan Brand. With me having my own sneaker, I feel like we are growing. We have opened so many doors now that the possibilities are endless.

GABY’S ‘LA MEZCLA’ AIR MAX 98 RELEASES TOMORROW AT 9AM CST ON THE SNKRS APP FOR $200 USD. THIS SNEAKER WILL FLY OFF THE SHELVES, SO DON’T SLEEP. SET YOUR ALARMS AND SHOP THE SNEAKS BELOW ON RELEASE DAY!

SHOP MORE NIKE AIR MAX 98 SNEAKERS BELOW


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE…