“The history books will say she.lace strived to empower girls and women through their love for sneakers. It will document how we challenged to make space for women in an environment that, traditionally, excluded and overlooked them. It will say that she.lace displayed the importance of providing positive examples of inspirational women, so that ladies see themselves represented in the media they consume. Our legacy will be fighting and playing an instrumental role in bettering the opportunities for women within the sneaker industry.”
~Jamila Husbands, she.lace co-founder
Here’s an interesting thing about history… That line you just read is now history… That line you just read, about the line you just read, is also now history. Of course, history can be revisited and utilized as a great tool to teach, inform and guide. For example, can you identify the grammatical errors in the first sentence? (Comment below and let us know if our use of the ellipses are correct). Perhaps there aren’t any “…” But the point is you could examine “history” to ensure if a mistake was made previously, so it doesn’t have to be repeated in the future. Sir Winston Churchill may have said it best, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” In order to understand where you’re going, you must understand where you’ve been. In order to make history… You must understand, appreciate and respect how history has made you. In other words, history made us so we can make history. Everything you do, for better or worse, is “history in the making”. Learn, grow, evolve! How will your story be written?
Here’s the thing about making a “mark” on history that we’re curious about: What is defined as history? And, what constitutes making a mark on that said history? Interesting questions… … sorry we don’t have just as interesting answers. We’re certainly not historians so we shouldn’t provide an answer with pseudo authority. BUT, there is a particular history that we’re all experts on (no, not sneaker culture in this instance)… our personal history. So, at the risk of being redundant allow us to raise the question again with a slight modification: What is defined as history in your life? And, what constitutes making a mark on your history? For she.lace, this post you’re reading is us making our mark on our history. Jamila says it best, we’re challenging the status quo and “not being afraid or caught up with the opinions of others. On a day-to-day basis it’s finding ways to fight for a cause in an attempt to make a difference. When I hear history in the making I relate it to the sensation of ‘something significant is brewing’…that feeling you get in your gut that you’re witnessing something transformative. This is everything she.lace represents, we are history in the making.”
Sidenote: she.lace would be remiss if we didn’t take this opportunity to give a major shoutout to an initiative that was the PERFECT marriage between the theme of this post, and our mission (history and women’s empowerment): HERstory in Black.🙌🏾
Now, this is what you call making a mark on history. The impetus for this project was motivated both by a way to honour Black History Month, and to acknowledge Canada’s forthcoming 150th birthday. As Canada prepares to celebrate its sesquicentennial #herstoryinblack set out to highlight the many contributions of Black and diverse women to the nation’s success. And, they certainly did… The event was trending all over social media, and even generated a tweet from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
More importantly, it was an opportunity to bring together accomplished and successful women to celebrate their greatness. Expanding networks and strengthening communities, such an inspiration. Even though February is only 28 days, promoting women’s empowerment is 365 days a year!
Museum Station! Now, the Toronto Transit Commission is EASILY one of the most assailed aspects of Toronto infrastructure by Torontonians (no, we don’t mean vandalism or any form of physical assault). Yes, we love hockey, basketball, baseball etc…BUT, she.lace believes it’s fair to suggest one of this city’s favourite sport is : “TTC scrutinizing and slandering”. It’s a full-contact professional game and you can see it being played out in any of the fleet of TTC operated vehicles. Best part, admission is relatively inexpensive…only $3.25. Of course, that ticket price doesn’t allow for “stop-overs” a.k.a. no in-and-outs…wait, we’ve just learned the ticket price has been increased to $3.50, typical. Most public transport commuters would understand the above sarcasm…Torontonians have a love-hate relationship, at best, with the TTC. Most of us have experienced that crammed train unexpectedly stalling at a station during peak rush hour, and having to truly understand why it’s said patients is a virtue.
If you’re ever in this predicament at Museum station, consider yourself lucky. Aesthetically pleasing is an understatement…not only is this station a beautiful sight to take in (from the lighting, to the Ancient Egyptian Deities support column fixtures, to hieroglyphic inscriptions within the station lettering) it actually looks like its name. And that’s the whole point, the station is named after the Royal Ontario Museum (world-class historical and science museum) which is steps outside.
Ancient Greece, Traditional Chinese culture, Ancient Egypt, Mexico’s Toltec culture and Canada’s First Nation…a trip to multiple civilizations and cultures all on one platform, sounds like a Museum to us. As the compare/contrast photos above illustrate, these elements are the results of the 2008 renovations the station underwent spearheaded by the Toronto Community Foundation. The idea for the design company commissioned, Diamond and Schmitt Architects, was for the station to serve as precursor for the main attraction nearby, the ROM. Needless to say, Museum station is an exhibit on its own right…it has certainly come a long way from its humble beginnings when it opened to the public in 1963. So, if you’re ever taking a ride along the University side of the Yonge-University-Spadina line (recently renamed “Line ”) get off quickly to observe this marvel of art which doubles as a TTC station. After all, in 2014 The Guardian placed it on a list of the world’s nicest stations.
Fun fact: If you ever have the desire to be a “prisoner” of history, Museum station may be the place for you to visit…literally and figuratively. The station actually has a jail…well, at least what appears to be a jail cell on the south end of the train platform. In actuality, “The Museum Jail” is used as a storage space…But BlogTO explains the nefarious story behind it’s inspiration.
“If I could have lunch with two people, living or dead, the first would be a female family member from my past, maybe about four to five generations back. I love history, specifically Caribbean history, and I enjoy learning about history that relates to family. I’ve always yearned to know what life was like for those I descended from, I wish I could go back in time and be a fly on the wall. The second would be Melody Ehsani! She’s a designer whose work aims to empower women and is nothing short of an inspiration. Her collaborations with Reebok carry strong messages and highlight women of different backgrounds.”
Those would be very interesting dining experiences, food for thought to say the least. We wonder what they might say about she.lace’s initiative? Well, Jamila has made sure we don’t have to wonder what we believe our mark will be: “We’re going to positively change and expand the space in which women occupy within the sneaker world. Ultimately, we want to ensure there are more opportunities for women to be celebrated and acknowledged in the sneaker industry.” Last week we encouraged you to study for greatness, and this week we’re urging you to understand what you do is history in the making… Seems like a direct correlation. So, we hope you’re prepared to step out there (in some oh so fly women’s sneakers) and make an impact as legendary as the sole of an AF1. Know your history, so you can make history!
What happens when flaming socks meets pink faux fur, and merges with a legendary Toronto corner? Honest-ly, you’ll have to wait for next week’s Ed-itorial for that answer. If time is money, it’ll be the best bargain you get next week!