Today I read an article from Highsnobiety titled “Why Do Women’s Sneaker Options Suck so Much?” I too ask myself that on the daily; as well as other questions raised by the author such as: “how many women collectors can you name? How many women’s signature lines?” It’s a small number, but they’re definitely out there. While I agree that having to sometimes order sneakers in the smallest men’s size or the largest kids’ size isn’t exactly ideal, I couldn’t help but think that we are currently in the middle of a big change within the sneaker industry. Instead of complaining about the lack of selection of women’s sneakers, I wanted to shed some light on how much the market catering to female sneakerheads has actually grown.
Six years ago, news broke out about the first ever female Jordan collaboration. In 2010, Vashtie Kola announced that she reimagined the classic Air Jordan 2 with a new colorway- making her the first female to design a Jordan. Vashtie, as well as illustrator Sophia Chang, have also recently collaborated on collections with Puma, as it is one of the few mainstream athletic brands that really encourages female empowerment. In 2014, Puma named Rihanna the brand’s new women’s creative director and since then has released Creepers and Trainers for women in more than 10 colorways combined. Even on a smaller scale, we have Caroll Lynn, the current women’s footwear designer for Filling Pieces.
Again, these are only a few examples and it’s obviously not going to happen over night, but thankfully we have women like Vashtie and Caroll Lynn breaking into the boy’s club to provide us with a broader sneaker assortment that doesn’t include the dreaded sneaker wedge.