BLM: Ending inequality indefinitely
Black Lives Matter.
Have you ever heard the term ‘Nike created the Air Force 1, but the people made it’? I was born in ’94, I grew up listening to music from the early 2000’s, and my first memory of the black community’s contribution to the sneaker world was rapper Nelly’s hit single ‘Air Force Ones’. Not only was the shoe itself affordable to many, but it made sneakers and this particular silhouette mainstream both in the hood and in the streets worldwide.
While Nelly’s back catalogue sparks a moment of joy for me, the black community’s cultural influence on the sneaker industry has played a huge role in amplifying sneaker culture to the world.
While the influence of ‘Air Force Ones’ is still being felt to this day, sneakers in music planted their roots years before – take RUN DMC’s ‘My Adidas’ that rocked the music world in 1986 for example. Run DMC’s influence is still strong over 30 years later and paved the way for some of the biggest fashion trends in streetwear, with sneakers at the heart and soul of their movement. Aligned with hip hop, rap and RNB, the black music scene has leant itself to fashion and cultural trends which has created a platform for sneaker brands to live, breathe and grow.
This even transcends into sports, where some of Nike and Adidas’s biggest ambassadors are black sportsmen and women, who are continuing to break records globally (Mo Farah and Simone Biles to name a few) across the industry from NBA, NFL to the FA.
Sneakers culture IS black culture, to be a sneaker enthusiast, the impact that the black community has had on sneakers AND streetwear over the decades must be recognised actively. While it has taken a huge movement to create change and receive a commitment from brands and communities across the world to execute change, we must hold those to their promises to ensure change is happening, change is real and this change will lead the way for a new world perspective.
I joined the team at PresentedBy in 2017 They wanted ME; a black, African, woman to be the face and representative of their first sneaker consignment store in my hometown of London. At just 23, I knew I was entering what is widely known as the male-dominated sneaker world, but to my surprise, the team looked past race gender, and age to see me for who I was, the skills and passion I had as well as the knowledge I possessed. It’s strange to think that I doubted myself because of how I looked but from then on, working with such a diverse and unique team has put my mind at ease knowing that my workplace is inclusive by nature and is a safe environment for everyone to work, grow and thrive.
We all come from different ethnic backgrounds, different cultures, different religions. The best part about it all is, minus the hard work we execute as a whole every day, we as a work-family learn so much about one another, and we respect each other. So as a diverse team, it’s in our nature to do the right thing and support by giving back in any way shape or form we can.
Crep Protect recently launched the exclusive Black Lives Matter Protector Spray, donating 100% of all proceeds to key charities that are helping to end racism and inequality indefinitely, but this is another example of the company supporting the black community and culture. From the loyal international customers and staff at PresentedBy, to the equally diverse sellers and buyers at KLEKT to the hundreds of black influencers, musicians, DJ’s and hosts working with Crep Protect, we are always striving to give back and support the black community and POC. A recent example is the partnership between Crep Protect and the Springfield Group in Ghana, which helped put shoes on the feet of 10,000 children from underprivileged communities.
This is not a single social post. This is not a token hire of a black staff member. This is rooted in our business and we stand with the BLM to end equality indefinitely.