Breanna Stewart Hopes To Lead Sneaker Culture Change With Stewie 1 Summer Launch [Video]
Breanna Stewart grew up with all the well-known kicks of the era. The lively K-Swiss. Iconic Adidas three-stripe low-top trainers from the 1990s. Selected by Nike. The signature Shaquille O’Neal shoe sold at an affordable price at Payless.
“Basically all I could get my hands on was what I had,” Stewart, 27, told Yahoo Sports.
None of them, to his knowledge at the time as a rising basketball star, were shoes made, designed or endorsed by women.
“I didn’t have shoes led by women,” said the highly decorated Seattle Storm forward. “I feel bad to say it, but that was the way the market was and what we saw. I hope now that I can be part of the change.
Stewart will be the 10th WNBA player to have a signature shoe when Puma, which signed the 2018 MVP and two-time WNBA champion to an endorsement deal last May, releases the “Stewie 1” this summer. To celebrate the significance of the moment and those who laid the foundational footings behind it, Stewart has teamed up with eBay on its “Trailblazers Collection” to celebrate Women’s History Month.
The eBay drop highlights sneakers created by and for women, including the Nike Air Swoopes II by four-time WNBA champion Sheryl Swoopes and the Air Jordan II Retro designed by Vashtie Kola. Each shoe in the collection includes a story and celebrates the contributions of women in a space often dominated by men.
Include women in sneaker culture
Women have often been excluded and shunned from sneaker culture and the sneakerhead market, but their numbers continue to grow despite challenges, such as a lack of sizes. According to a 2019 Forbes report, women also control or influence around 85% of consumer spending, meaning they are the ones buying sneakers for kids.
Yet marketing for female gamers and creators is rare even though the demand is there. It took 25 years of Jordans before Kola became the first woman to design one. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Stewart is the first WNBA player in a decade, after Candace Parker, to have a signature shoe. There’s a reason young ballers show up at Currys and LeBrons’ camps, and it’s not just because of the talents of NBA players.
“Children see certain people and certain faces everywhere – social media, TV, live [in person] — and wanting to represent them,” Stewart said. “The release of the Trailblazer collection this month will simply continue to highlight shoes led by women – shoes designed by women, for women – to ensure that we continue to showcase the female perspective. Because I think sometimes it’s often really, really overlooked.
Stewart said she couldn’t keep track of all the times she was asked how to get a Breanna Stewart shoe and had to tell people she didn’t have one.
“Now it’s like, well I do, and it happens, and I hope all these young girls and boys want to go out and get the shoe and realize that there’s the NBA, and there’s also has the WNBA,” she said. .
They will be in line behind her 7-month-old daughter, Ruby Mae Stewart Xargay, who Stewart hopes will walk as she laces up.
Building the Stewie 1
Stewart isn’t sure what she can and can’t say about the “Stewie 1.” What she can say is that the first one will drop in the middle of summer and there will be multiple colorways, perfect timing for the peak of the WNBA season and before the high school and college seasons start. A Puma spokesperson confirmed that the shoe will be released “later this year”.
After inspecting the special details on the box, the colorways are the first thing Stewart notices in any shoe. She likes to wear as many sneakers as possible during the WNBA season as a “different way to drive conversion for WNBA players.” And his favorites vary.
“I think the colors I like the most [are] shine and stand out,” she said. “I have those moments where I want everything to match, and then I have those moments where I’m like, I don’t care if my shoes match whatever I’m wearing on my shirt. A bit of both.
She can say it was a “super detailed” process to design her shoe, more than she could have expected, and it allowed her to include special moments in her life, like growing up in the north of Syracuse and win four NCAA championships in Connecticut. . She took inspiration from old iconic shoes like Swoopes and wants them to have the best performance capability complemented by looks that can transition to off-court wear.
“[I have a] ton of pride realizing that when I was young I was talking about buying LeBrons shoes and Jordans and Shaq, now it’s going to be mine,” Stewart said. “To kind of get to that level where I have a signature shoe is something I really couldn’t have dreamed of, and now that moment is about to be here and I think it’s going to keep getting better. .
“The women in the sneaker industry deserve so much more than they got in the past, and I hope that as we see change in so many different directions, the sneaker industry will be one of them. And eBay makes sure that happens.