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Women's History Month: 7 Women Influencing the Sneaker Game

House of Trade celebrates Women’s History throughout the month March. We salute the ladies who remind us that sneakerhead culture transcends gender, and women at House of Trade love their high tops far more than any pair of high heels.

Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks was the first non-athlete to have a deal with Nike. When she wasn’t catwalking the runway, Tyra was rocking Nike Air Force 93s in both commercials and episodes of The Fresh Prince.

Sheryl Swoopes

Three time WNBA MVP, three time Olympic gold medalist, a WNBA title, and a Hall of Famer for both the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame are just some of her accomplishments. Not only was Swoopes the first woman officially signed to the WNBA in 1996, she was also the first woman to have a signature athletic shoe: Nike Air Swoopes.

Aleali May

Referred to as the Queen of Sneakers, and one of only two women to have designed for Nike Jordans. She created two original colorways off Jordan 1’s and a third of Jordan 6’s, the latter of which sold out in four minutes. May stresses the importance of women’s representation in streetwear.

Cynthia Lu

Founder of Cactus Plant Flea Market, a favorite brand among some of the world’s top artists and musicians. Her notoriety started when working P.R. for Pharrell Williams’s label Billionaire Boys Club, and evolved to Lu becoming his own assistant and stylist. Adding to her allure is her unique desire to remain anonymous, as she continues to curate designs from her Brooklyn apartment.

Rei Kawakubo

Japanese designer and founder of COMME des GARÇONS. She started as a freelance stylist in 1967 and grew her company throughout the 70s and 80s before exploding on the fashion scene, and now oversees every design to come out of her company. In a collaboration with Nike, the CdG Air Force 1 Mid sneaker debuted in March of 2020.

Yoon Ahn

Korean-American fashion designer and creator of Ambush, as well as the jewelry design director for Dior Homme. Ahn and Ambush have long collaborated with Reebok, and as of last year started to design a new women’s capsule collection for Nike in partnership with the NBA. The Dunk High sneakers were released this year in a black/white and fuschia colorway, but even more coveted and less widely released were the Chicago series, featuring the red, black, and white color blocking of the Chicago Bulls.

Santia Deck

Santia Deck has become the first female athlete to own a sneaker brand. Deck is dubbed as the face of female football, as well as a famed track athlete, influencer, and fitness guru. Her brand Tronus, or “throne” in Latin, debuted its first edition in summer of 2020 with more limited editions expected soon.

by Nicole Amato

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