Over the past few decades, we’ve seen so many women bloom into some of the most powerful artists, athletes, and leaders. Some of them even had the chance to be celebrated through their very own unique pair of custom sneakers. For fans, especially their fellow women, it’s quite the honor to be able to own an iconic item from people you look up to — and in a way, be able to walk in their footsteps. So, here are some of our favorite signature sneakers designed by influential women.
We can’t start this list without paying homage to the first woman to get a signature pair of sneakers. Sheryl Swoopes was the first player to be signed in the WNBA and was named one of the league’s Top 15 Players of All Time. When Nike approached her to make the first pair of Air Swoopes, it kick-started the launch of female-headlined pairs that lasted throughout the 1990s. Swoopes wanted the shoe to veer away from the typical pink, white, or yellow colors of women’s shoes at that time and opted for a black, white, and red color scheme.
Rihanna is a powerhouse both in the music and fashion industry, and a style icon for so many. One of her biggest moments was being presented with the Shoe of the Year award for the first Rihanna and Puma collaboration, the pair widely known as the Puma “Creepers”. As the first woman to win this award, this event effectively hailed her as the new “Queen of Shoes”. Since then, Rihanna has expanded to beauty, fashion, and even lingerie. Rihanna prides herself in making inclusivity part of her brand’s DNA, making her one of today’s most influential women.
This 19-year-old has taken the world by storm. Billie Eilish is making rounds in the music and fashion industry for her unique voice and unmatched style. Her debut album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” was met with critical acclaim and won her numerous awards. And it didn’t take long for the Billie Eilish and Jordan collaboration to happen, resulting in her own custom pair of Air Jordan 1 KOs. The kicks are entirely in her custom lime green colorway, and are unapologetically eye-catching, much like the singer herself.
Venus Williams, former world number 1 in both singles and doubles, is widely regarded as one of the all-time greats of women’s tennis. She and her sister Serena are often credited with ushering in a new era of women in sports. Now, Venus Williams has recently collaborated again with brand K-Swiss for a footwear and apparel collection. The K-Swiss Classic 66 x EleVen is a pair of classic tennis shoes similar to models Venus wears. She made sure to feature pieces with sleek designs and built-in comfort, and aimed to ensure that women felt their best while wearing them.
After a decade, Breanna Stewart will be the first WNBA player to be given a pair of signature shoes once again. Currently, 18 players on the NBA teams have their own pairs, while only nine players in the WNBA’s 25-year history have had one. The upcoming shoe is seen to be a win for Stewart’s supporters and women in the sports industry in general. Stewart was also named one of the top 25 players of the WNBA’s first years, and she has received the MVP award for leading the Storm twice.
Though there’s been a significant gap in the releases of signature shoes for influential women, we’ve still seen some great collaborations between amazing female icons and renowned shoe brands. Which pair is your favorite? If you can’t decide, check out our “3 Tips To Shop for Sneakers That Make the Best Impression”, where we detail how you can find the right shoe for you. Otherwise, check our blog for more fashion news and tips.
Written by: Jacqui Buenne for Blufashion.com