Whether you're a fan or not so much, there's no denying that LeBron James is on top of his game - and we're not just talking about basketball. In fact, let's just put basketball on a shelf altogether. He's been one of only a few dominant atheletes to take a very vocal stand against social injustice, he just opened up his own public school in Akron, Ohio (!!!), and he's not shy about his admiration for a woman’s worth. His latest venture has very little to do with his own on-court domanance, but instead serves as a tribute to the powerful women in his life, and the women who inspire him, challenge him, and champion him. This week, James revealed the HFR x LeBron 16, his first women’s basketball shoe launching this month and designed in collaboration with Nike and Harlem’s Fashion Row, an organization that has long showcased multicultural designers through a series of runway shows, podcasts and events.
James, along with Nike’s global basketball footwear designer Meline Khachatourian and three of the Harlem’s Fashion Row designers—Kimberly Goldson, Felisha Noel, and Undra Duncan—reimaginged the shoe with features such as an updated lacing system, molded lion graphic heel overlay and a removable leather collar strap. These elements epitomized James' desire to create a show that channeled the power of strong African-American woman, specifically those in his own life, including his mother, wife, and daughter.
"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. 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.” - Meline Khachatourian
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.
“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. 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.” - LeBron James
In addition to his mother Gloria, wife Savannah and daughter Zhuri, the campaign also features several prominate and notable women of color including Nike athletes like Serena Williams, Maya Moore and A’ja Wilson, along with leaders in the business, journalism and entertainment fields like Harlem’s Fashion Row founder Brandice Daniel, Cari Champion and Lena Waithe.
You can look for the HFR x Nike LeBron 16 to launch this Friday, September 7th on the SNKRS app and Nike.com.
Looking for more? We've picked a few of our favorite LBJ options as well as a few dope Nike Sportswear picks that are at the top of our Wish List this season. Shop the style(s) below.
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