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Nike’s N7 Fund Supports Native American Youths And For It’s 10th Anniversary They Designed A Navajo-Inspired Commemorative Collection

Nike’s N7 collection is celebrating 10 years of supporting Native American and aboriginal communities. The iconic sportswear brand teamed up with Pendleton Prints, the American textile company from Portland, Oregon, to create an anniversary collection that features Native American prints and patterns to honor Navajo heritage through design. 

Nike’s N7 Fund is inspired by Native American wisdom of the Seven Generations: in every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the seventh generation.

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The Nike N7 Fund supports organizations that provide sport and physical activity programming to youth in Native American communities. The fund helps them reach their greatest potential through play and sport and creates more equal playing fields for all. Since 2009, the N7 Fund has awarded more than $7.5 million in grants to 259 communities and organizations —and this year, it’s turning 10. 

Tracie Jackson, a graphic designer at Nike, is passing along her grandmother’s legacy in the 10th anniversary of the Nike N7 collection. 

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Upon going blind in old age, Phoebe Nez continued to weave rugs in the Navajo tradition, teaching her young great-granddaughter Tracie Jackson how to take up the craft. The member of the Black Streaked Wood People clan of the Navajo Nation (“Tsi’naajinii”) taught Jackson that every color and shape has a purpose that can be altered by many influences, such as creation stories, the environment and individual experiences. Nez committed her designs to memory, continuing to teach Jackson as her eyesight slowly faded.

Without my great-grandmother, I wouldn’t have learned about my culture, and without my culture, I wouldn’t have been a designer. My family ties are what influence my native identity.” says Jackson.

The collection includes blankets, sneakers, sweatshirts, and t-shirts all containing the storm pattern. 

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This pattern was a favorite of Jackson’s great grandmother and contains meaningful elements like zig-zags that represent lightning and the step patterns signifying the Mesas of Monument Valley in AZ. The pattern is a narrative tapestry of Jackson’s Navajo history, which specializes in designs personal to the individual weaver. Those living in different geographical regions will experience different environments. As the weaver becomes more skilled, he or she creates original designs based on the influences of classic works, personalizing the pieces with different colors and yarns.

Nike’s and Pendleton’s relationship dates back to 2008. 

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Nike first collaborated with the brand over 10 years ago. The sportswear label released ACG x Pendleton All-Mountain collection in an original print back in 2008. They joined forces again in 2013 on another collaboration, this time creating a tee, a jacket, a couple of sneakers and a commemorative blanket. 

But it wasn’t until 2017 when the two companies created a commemorative blanket for PK80 College Basketball Tournament. 

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The 2017 Phil Knight Invitational was a 16 team college basketball event held in Pendleton’s hometown of Portland, Oregon. The tournament was organized to honor Nike’s co-founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday. 

N7’s 10-year anniversary collection, the design is Navajo-inspired and the storm pattern appears consistently.

The storm pattern appears throughout this year’s collection consistently, which also includes hoodies, leggings, joggers and more. Participating college basketball teams this year, will wear Nike N7 x Pendleton’s long sleeve crew as shooting shirts over their turquoise uniforms. 

Jackson also put her spin on the classic Nike Air Zoom Pegasus. 

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The Pegasus 36 N7 x Pendleton will commemorate the running womanhood ceremony that is customary among Navajo circles. “I’m very hands-on with my design process. A lot of native runners reached out to me asking for an N7 version of the Pegasus shoe. And I want to bring the voices of our community in,” she explained. “As native people, our feet are actually wider and flat, so the Pegasus shoe is the most ideal shoe for our body when it comes to running.”

We love to see this kind of representation done so sensibly, ethically and responsibly by brands as big as Nike. Ideally, more brands would pursue diversity —simply because it’s the right thing to do— to be more tone-aware and in touch with customers from every point of the spectrum. It doesn’t take a lot to realize that a diverse workforce that thrives in an inclusive culture leads to a higher level of innovation and an all-round stronger brand that everyone can relate to —maybe that’s why Nike remains as everyone’s favorite, after years and years. Here’s to seeing more projects like N7 come to fruition. 

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This Oaxacan Artist Is Turning Sneakers Into Her Canvas For Día De Muertos And The Results Are Incredible

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This Oaxacan Artist Is Turning Sneakers Into Her Canvas For Día De Muertos And The Results Are Incredible

dorisarellano_pintora / Instagram

As the Coronavirus pandemic has brought to a halt economies and countries around the world, it’s also helped shutter the businesses of artists who rely on galleries and street markets to sell their creations.

Mexico is one of the world’s hardest hit countries and artists in the country have had to get creative to find new clients and customers amid a global pandemic.

However, with the rising popularity of bespoke sneaker collections, one Oaxacan artist seems to have found the winning formula.

A Oaxacan artist has made sneakers her canvas and she’s highlighting her culture in this new medium.

Credit: dorisarellano_pintora / Instagram

Mexico has been one of the world’s hardest hit countries by the Covid-19 pandemic. Coronavirus-related restrictions have indefinitely closed millions of businesses across the country as tourists stopped coming to the country.

As these restrictions have impacted the livelihoods of millions of Mexicans, many have been forced to get creative. For one artist from Oaxaca, Doris Arellano Manzo, the choice was clear: a canvas is a canvas — it could be stretched over a wooden frame or stretched over a pair of athletic shoes.

Like other artists worldwide who are succeeding at beating the pandemic’s economic challenges to their careers, Arellano is learning to adapt — to be less conventional and to think quite literally a bit smaller: she now paints her art on sneakers.

Thanks to the pandemic, Arellano felt she needed to reinvent herself and her craft.

It all started in July when Arellano and her daughter Frida – a communications and social media professional, realized that Arellano needed to think outside the traditional. It was obvious that museums and galleries would likely remain closed for sometime, so how else could they bring her art to her clients?

“Since I love to paint, I can paint for you on a large canvas just as well as I can on a small one,” she recently told the newspaper Milenio. “As far as I’m concerned, while you have me here with my paints and paintbrushes, I’m thrilled.”

Each pair of shoes is unique, she said, “because it’s all done by hand, not by machine.” She describes her style as “traditionalist contemporary,” and says she is drawn to evoking the rites and customs of Oaxacan traditional culture.

Her Día de Muertos collection is garnering international attention.

Credit: dorisarellano_pintora / Instagram

Arellano’s latest collection features shoes with colorful abstract designs in bright cempasúchil orange, with lush floral wreaths and, of course, featuring the iconic Día de Muertos Catrina.

The collection was timed perfectly since so many are looking for non-traditional art amidst a very non-traditional year.

Her latest collection of work, all painted on athletic footwear, is entitled after the celebration she’s commemorating, Día de Muertos.

She says her collections are an homage to traditional Oaxacan festivities that couldn’t take place in 2020.

Credit: dorisarellano_pintora / Instagram

In addition to her recently released Día de Muertos collection which has been very popular, Arellano has created art with other Oaxacan themes.

In fact, when she first began her art-themed sneaker collection in July, at Friday’s suggestion, her sneaker art was based on the enormous festival of Guelaguetza. The Guelaguetza is a traditional Oaxaca cultural festival that had to be canceled this year due to the pandemic.

In some ways, she said, the enforced isolation of the pandemic has been a huge challenge for artists like herself, but in other ways, it’s actually been familiar.

“The work of an artist is a bit enclosed,” she admitted. “We go out when there are exhibits, when we have to go introduce ourselves in public or do interviews.”

Still, she said, the pandemic caught the art community flatfooted.

“Artists don’t have a way to show their work during the pandemic,” she said. “It’s all been halted, and we have to go back and look for new formats for the public to see what we are doing.”

It seems like 2020 has been the year of handcrafted sneaker lines.

Although Arellano is working hard to infuse her own culture into her art and her new sneaker line, she isn’t the first to do so. Just this year Nike released its take on the traditional holiday with a Día de Muertos-themed sneaker collection that had fans of both the holiday and the sneaker company excited for.

Then we got news that Bad Bunny was releasing a custom Crocs line – which flew off the shelves and are now selling for more than four times the original retail price. Plus, recent rumors say that Bad Bunny will also be launching an Adidas collaboration at some point in early 2021.

People have long been obsessed with bespoke sneaker collections, but thanks to the pandemic people are looking for new ways to support artists and satisfy their shopping cravings. We can’t think of a better way than by supporting local Indigenous artists like Arellano.

You can get more information here.

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First Crocs, Now Adidas: Bad Bunny To Launch Major Collaboration And Here’s What We Know So Far

Entertainment

First Crocs, Now Adidas: Bad Bunny To Launch Major Collaboration And Here’s What We Know So Far

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It seems like 2020 has been the year of sneaker collaborations – or in Bad Bunny’s case – Crocs collaborations. From Bad Bunny to J Balvin, Travis Scott to Christian Dior, it seems that everyone is trying to get their name on a fresh pair of sneakers.

And I’m not complaining. I love a good shoe collaboration as much as the next guy, however, news of a possible Adidas and Bad Bunny collaborations has me extra excited since both of those are my favorites of their respective worlds. For me: Adidas is to the sneaker world what Bad Bunny is to reggaetón.

So far there haven’t been a lot of details released by either San Benito nor Adidas but this is what we do know.

Adidas x Bad Bunny will be releasing an epic sneaker collection early next year.

It’s just weeks after Bad Bunny’s custom Crocs basically broke the Internet and we’re already getting news (or at least rumors) of a possible Adidas x Bad Bunny collaboration happening soon. According to a story by Complex, Bad Bunny is about to bring more of his signature looks to your sneaker collection.

The Complex story says that a source familiar with the brand’s product plans for next year told them about the likely collab. However, neither Adidas nor Bad Bunny have announced the sneaker and wouldn’t confirm the project when reached for comment. If true though, the kicks would likely arrive as part of the sportswear brand’s Spring/Summer 2021 offerings.

In a photo Complex shared of the rumored sneaker, we get a possible first look at the soon-to-be sold out sneaker. The color palette featured on the Puerto Rican’s take on the Forum silhouette looks quite similar to his crocs with all-beige detailing that very well may also be glow-in-the-dark. The kicks seem to feature light blue design details on the sole and side sole of the shoes.

An Adidas x Bad Bunny collab will likely do as well or even better then his recent Crocs launch.

If rumors are true, the Forum would be El Conejo Malo’s first sneaker collaboration, although he already has a wildly-successful Crocs line that he released in September. And fans have proven themselves willing to go to great lengths to get their hands on Bad Bunny anything basically (myself included!).

The Crocs retail for $60 USD but are already being resold for more than $200 USD on sites like e-bay. Not to mention that the Crocs launch left many fans disappointed because of their instant success – the line sold out within minutes.

When the collab was initially announced, Bad Bunny called himself a “longtime fan” of the famous brand, adding that he hoped his version inspires his fans to “have their own fun with their personal style and wearing what makes them happy.”

He even got a little sentimental, adding: “I believe in being true and not placing limitations on myself, which is also something Crocs represents, and this is the message I always want to make sure I send out to my fans.”

For those of you who aren’t well-versed in Croc lingo, Jibbitz charms are jewelry-like flair you can pin through the holes of your Crocs. The Bad Bunny x Crocs Jibbits reference his music from his recent YHLQMDLG album–fire emojis, stars, planets, a man holding a sign that says: zona de perreo. And, of course, there was a bunny Jibbit as well.

It’s no secret that Bad Bunny is a sneaker lover.

In a 2018 episode of Sneaker Shopping on Complex, Bad Bunny explained his footwear history, saying that his native Puerto Rico was lacking in boutique stores.

“Ever since I was a child, I’ve liked sneakers,” Bad Bunny said then.

He’s not the only Latin trap artist that’s expected to release their own shoe soon. Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin said in an April interview with High Snobiety that his Air Jordan 1 collaboration was supposed to launch in November. Jordan Brand hasn’t confirmed this news.

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