For far too long, the trainer community has been dominated by men – think of sneakerheads and chances are you'll picture a hipster male forever on a quest for the freshest kicks. Thankfully, there's an inspiring network of influential women, the International Girl Crew, challenging that notion, with a covetable new range of Nike Cortez Classics that reflects their shared passion for travel, culture and female empowerment. Comprising powerful women each owning different fields, from nail art to filmmaking, the International Girl Crew includes WAH Nails founder Sharmadean Reid, model and muse Paloma Elsesser, filmmaker Grace Ladoja, stylist Camille Garmendia, nail artist Madeline Poole, and writer Phoebe Lovatt.
Having met through mutual friends and similar interests over the past decade, the International Girl Crew may not all live in the same postcode – or even country – but always find time to come together, whether that's via a video call or in real life on a girls' holiday in Jamaica. As a symbol of their bond, wherever they are in the world, they all wear matching necklaces strung with gold numbers. And now Nike has invited them to design a range of Cortez trainers, so we can all be a part of their female power crew too.
Inspired by the classic design of the Cortez, the friends have designed a shoe in three colour palette options: a neutral “Los Angeles” style, a bright “London” style and a clean “New York” style, each with pops of colour on the midsoles, graphics on the foot beds and numbers on the heel.
Sharmadean Reid took to Instagram to share her enthusiasm about working with her best friends on the project, explaining: "So 4 or 5 years ago I started a hashtag #internationalgirlcrew after being introduced to @camillegarmendia by #aaronbondaroff who spent the summer hanging with me and @graceladoja in London. Then we met @mpnails and @palomija then London babe @phoebelovatt moved to LA and then NYC... and we were all christened with the NUMBER NECKLACE as members of the IGC! Throughout all this time there have been many group holidays, FACETIMES, meeting up at weird cities around the world where we happen to all be working etc etc. I could say more mushy sentimental stuff but it's not really necessary, I love these women so much, they've saved me! I don't have many friends and I met @graceladoja when we were 18/19 and we bonded over a pair of rare Oki-Ni pink Adidas sneakers I was wearing. We were girls, a decade ago, in a very male dominated sneaker and skate world and we just became BFFs. Making this shoe is an honour, to work with my best friends, with one of my favourite brands, which has taught me so much about running an innovative company and also representing the city I call my home. 3 shoes, 7 colourways, inspired by LA, NYC and LDN."
The NIKEiD Cortez Classic by International Girl Crew is available globally from 16th August on nike.com/nikeid.