WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because those kicks you and your girls keep asking about … yeah, she created them.
For as long as they’ve been around, sneakers have been a men’s game.
Sure, women rocked them, but there were few to none actually designing them. Nike, Adidas and Reebok — all are fan-favorite brands, and all were created by men. So it’s a good time for Melody Ehsani, jewelry creator and sneaker inventor, to enter the market — and to become the blueprint for other women aspiring to spread their wings in the design field.
The sneakers were — dare we say it — intergalactic.
Ehsani, who grew up in a Persian household, was raised with a plan to attend law school like the rest of her family. But she skipped the books and started to design instead. Her original trinkets evolved into a brick-and-mortar shop in Los Angeles, plus an entire jewelry line and website. The attractive, affordable, fun and classy sets have become the biggest hit since Rolex’s iced-out timepieces took over every rapper’s wrist. Hell, her work has been worn by everyone from Beyoncé to Rihanna to Nicki Minaj. So, naturally, Reebok came a-calling, asking her to collaborate on a new sneaker.
It was 2012 when Ehsani created her first sneaker with Reebok. Back then, she had no idea what the relationship would eventually grow into. Taking a lighter approach to her early designs with the storied sneaker giant, the first price points were around $149. Online, they sold out within minutes. The look: snakeskin, spiked, with multicolored laces. You can’t even find them on eBay anymore.
A year later, Ehsani and Reebok collaborated again — this time, they revived the same concept from the last sneaker: girly and sporty but with a completely different colorway. Gold with silver spikes on the back, lined in pink with black-and-white stripes on top: The sneakers were — dare we say it — intergalactic. What we love the most: the quote printed on the shoes’ pink lining, and the word love scripted across the front of them. Spread it (seems like the website reupped on women’s size 8; run and get it!).
With two sneakers designs now listed on her resumé, Ehsani just added a third. The newest wild style was released on Feb. 1 in Los Angeles, hitting the globe online on Feb. 7. This third Reebok collabo design is the first pump sneaker (meaning you can inflate, or “pump,” the shoe’s internal bladder to get a snug fit) designed by a woman.
Yes, you read that correctly.
The first woman-designed pump sneaker. And they’ve already sold out (but they’ve recently shown up for $319 on eBay).
It’s a great milestone for Ehsani, who’s making history with a classic sneaker model, the kind made famous by the Boston Celtics’ Dee Brown in the 1991 NBA All-Star dunk contest. Those were done in the street-standard colorway: black and white. Ehsani “pumped” the exclusives up with a multicolor palette of white, black, red, blue and yellow. The shoe’s body texture is highlighted with a flashy dyed python skin, coupled with the same skin shoestrings.
But you shouldn’t have to wait too long for Ehsani’s next wild concoction of ultraexclusive cool. More collaborations are on the horizon. Just be ready when the visionary makes her next announcement. Matter of fact, we’ll be waiting with you … and the rest of the sneakerhead-loving world.
- Jasmina Cuevas, OZY Author Contact Jasmina Cuevas