Images: Brandon Todd for CNK Daily

Images: Brandon Todd for CNK Daily

MEET ASTASIA WILLIAMS. FOOTBALL FANATIC. SNEAKHER STUNNA. SOCIAL MEDIA GURU. CREATIVE CAT (AKA PANTHER). FEMALE FORERUNNER.

At CNKDaily, it's a given that female empowerment is a strong force. By connecting and sharing stories of women who frequently champion others, our goal is to create building blocks for a positive foundation rooted in community. We are stronger together, right?!

When you think of sneaker culture, we often think of sports. In our latest Sneaker Diary, our Social Media Coordinator speaks about the intersectional love between sports and sneakHERs. This next Chick Chat introduces you to the lady that keeps the Carolina Panthers’ social media pounding (as the team would say KEEP POUNDING). You may know Astasia Williams from her successful run on Twitter (she got the blue check y'all), but she is more than just a genius behind the screen. She is a female forerunner, a leader on the field, and a queen who knows all about self-love.

Tune in while Astasia reveals her journey through the South, how sports has influenced her personal and professional life, and the playbook for black girl magic.

E_MK2_8996.JPG

FROM THE BIG EASY TO THE QUEEN CITY…

My name is Astasia Williams. I am originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I attended Dillard University in New Orleans (shoutout to my HBCU),and I received my Master’s Degree from the Medill School of Journalism. That’s the nerd side of me. The other side is the athlete, the music lover, the semi-sneakerhead and the creative. I’m a coach’s daughter therefore my love for sports (football specifically), has been in my veins from the beginning. The love for sneakers didn’t come around until high school. However, my parents could never afford to get the latest Jordans for me. I was the girl who would have the loud color Chuck Taylors with a little dirt on the sides to make them a lil spicy! Or the see through Air Force 1’s. I wasn't interested in Jordans until college when I paid for them myself!

BRINGING FEMALE FORCE TO THE FIELD.

The NFL, much like the sneaker industry, is a male dominated space. For me, working as a social media content coordinator for the Panthers, the biggest challenge was accepting that I earned and worked hard to be in the position I’m in today. It’s hard to see yourself succeeding in a space when you don’t see the representation of your demographic in that space. Maybe the first year, I spent a lot of time doubting my capabilities and it showed in my work. Last year, I started to bloom and be able to contribute to our team!

E_MK2_8603_1.JPG

PENALTY FLAG, DON’T BE A HATER.

Tuning out the social media noise personally and professionally is something I’m still working on. But I’m a huge advocate of minding my own business. For example, I take breaks every now and then. I set times where I won’t look at social media until after my workout and after 9pm (I’m usually sleep by 9:30pm). I also don’t let the internet tell me how to live. I have enough going on in my mind already, I don’t need lil sally getting me down because I’m comparing myself to her. I’ve got four pieces of advice for women who are interested in a similar career path:

  1. Be nice and uplift.
  2. Be yourself.
  3. Be confident in your mind and craft.
  4. Build your support system.

The social media space is fairly new. That means there are limited positions and it’s super competitive. Make sure you standout. You do that by building your online brand! My manager hired me because she saw that my personal twitter was boomin’. I brought that same energy to the Panthers. Another thing, don’t be a hater. Uplift people as you’re rising up the ranks. I take pride in making sure women, specifically women of color, will be represented more in the NFL.

MORE THAN THE TRENDING TOPIC…

Social media and sneakers go hand in hand now. One can’t really survive without the other, in my own opinion. For the OG sneakerhead, you’re going to know when and where the fresh pair of J’s are going to drop. But to this new generation, you’re seeing brands having to get the wheels running and create content to try to sell the new release. Social media has given us the opportunity to be connected at all times and the sneaker community has evolved because of this. You have brands or publications who specifically have a team that caters to the sneaker community. You’re also seeing (from my perspective), the big brands listen a lot to what they see is “trending” from their consumers.

A SNEAKHER STYLE ALL HER OWN.

Coming from an athletic background, I’m definitely drawn to both the functionality and style aspect. I’m one of those people who likes to look fly in the gym or I won’t have a successful gym session. Weird? Yes. But it works for me. My style? I'm Jordan 1 and Air Force 1 kind of girl. Sports has influenced my personal #sneakherstyle in many ways. I love to just put on a throwback jersey and shorts in the summer. I definitely got a custom LeBron Lakers jersey I can’t wait to stunt this summer!

My style in general is on the comfortable side. You will RARELY see my in heels. I stand more on the side of the high-top style of shoes. But that’s always been me. The girl with the colored skinny jeans and skater shoes lol. My all time favorite shoe is the Royal Jordan 1. I’m not a 'let them sit' kinda girl. I will find any reason to wear these to be honest.

OK LADIES, NOW LET’S GET IN ROTATION…

Check out Astasia's top three kicks below:

  1. Olive Green 270s
  2. Air Jordan 1 Royals
  3. Air Force 1s (Wheats)

SHOP SNEAKER STYLES POWERED BY ASTASIA BELOW

E_MK2_8583.JPG

CELEBRATING DIVERSITY IS A MAJOR KEY.

When it comes to brand storytelling and campaigns, Nike Women is dominating the sneaker/streetwear space. I love brands who know their consumer, but they’re not afraid to take risks to reach a different demographic. Brands for so long have catered to the skinny white woman. Now that we are moving in a more (I hate this word) "woke" era, you have a power house like Nike using their Nike Women branding to create a campaign celebrating the thick, black, brown, big afro woman while not caring about any backlash. That’s relatable.

Consumers these days want to feel they can relate and be like their favorite athlete wearing their gear. I will never be Serena Williams, but I want to feel as powerful and look as good as her in this Tech Suit! As far as the female demographic of consumers, I would love to see more WNBA players design their own shoes!

ASTASIA’S TAKE ON SNEAKHER CULTURE…

SneakHER culture means being confident in yourself and in your style. Own the room. You get one time to make a good first impression. Working in a male dominated space like the National Football League, whatever I do, I need to be confident in it. Whatever meeting or room I go into, I need to make sure when it’s my time, I own the room. I need to be able to talk the talk and walk the walk. I might as well look fly doing it too! That’s pretty much what the sneakHER culture entails. How are you going to own this look? Not because the show is hot right now. But can you make it YOU? That’s pretty much how I try to live my life. Not by the standards that are set. Take those rules and make them my own!

Tune in to Astasia’s TWITTER as she speaks her mind while serving up girl power.

E_MK2_8980_1.JPG

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE…