Get love, give love! This week @she.lace decided to repost some Instagram posts that have used the hashtag #shelace. We appreciate the love… & we appreciate, being able to show we’re appreciative. We believe wholeheartedly in the movement we’re part of, and it’s always reassuring to have genuine support. As she.lace co-founder Kiah Welsh delicately stated in a CBC interview: Women’s empowerment is a network of women supporting each other and lifting each other up, we want to be fierce together! Support the movement, #shelace.
Speaking of support… In case you missed this week’s posts, here’s an extended look at the 5Ws behind the photos.
In North America, the month of February is known as the “heart” of winter. Freezing temperatures, snow, blistering wind chill, days with early sunsets. All this to say conditions in February aren’t conducive to the growth of trees, vegetation, plants or flowers. Although, there is one thing during this month that always seems to “warm hearts”… Valentine’s Day, the day for lovers. So, what do you get when you combine a flower that reminds you of light & warmth with a day that brings “warmth” to an otherwise cold month? You get @sunflowervalentine, a wonderful IG feed and another reason to smile when you think of February. This is what she had to say about showing she.lace some love:
How did you come across she.lace and what were your first thoughts?
Valentina: I was looking for female focused sneaker channels. I typed in the hashtag #femalesneakerheads and the account came up. I love it and decided to follow and tag my photos that way.
Sneakers, Art, Women’s Empowerment… How do the three align and converge for you?
Valentina: The three align all into sneakers for me. I use the last two to empower my sneaker choice and how I style myself. I’m all about visual self-expression and styling my sneakers with an artistically visualized outfit makes me feel empowered as a female who can present herself confidently.
What do sneakers mean to you, and what’s your favorite pair?
Valentina: Sneakers mean love to me. I always feel a weird connection holding a brand new pair of sneakers that I’ve either waited to release or copping a random pair in the store. There’s such a deep art of the presentation of all sneakers that it blows my mind away and makes me fall in love with all the designs. My favourite pair will always be the all white low AF1.
Complete this sentence….
To me, #shelace represents___
Valentina: Sneakers, Art and Women Empowerment.
From the infancy of she.lace we’ve been getting unbridled support from this next model. We must admit though, we had concerns about working with her because we heard murmurs about her “diva” like attitude. Well, the murmurs are true… She’s a murmuring diva! For example, as a courtesy we expressed concern over exposing her to the limelight due to her age. She gave us the Aaliyah “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number” look:
Then we attempted to caution her about the negative comments on social media and overall trolling. She gave us the Beyoncé “Boy Bye” look:
So much attitude, but she gives you that toothless smile and you just melt. Don’t take our word for it ⬇️ :
Well, thank you for all the support Mya. Much obliged!
The only thing underhanded about this star athlete is the fact that she’s an exceptional softball player. If we could accurately describe her on-field presence, we would have to call her a “Diamond Dominator”. When Natalie’s not busy getting her cleats dirty, she’s posting great pictures of classic sneakers on @nat_stoberman.
Now, we don’t want to go “back and forth” on this opinion, but… Nike Tennis Classic are classics, right?
Love the photo, what do these sneakers mean to you?
Natalie: These shoes are just another way of me showing that I like to be different. White shoes are so on trend right now, and I’ll be honest these shoes do remind me of the Adidas Stan Smith with the green piping, but I’ve never seen anyone with these kicks. The splashes of Wimbledon’s green and purple are kind of my way of saying “here’s your white shoe trend, but it’s my trend now.” I’ll never forget how excited I was when I saw these shoes at the Nike Store in Florida. There was no way I could leave without them. And they’re SO comfortable too.
We hear you’re an athlete, explain to us how that’s empowering and if sneakers help with that empowerment?
Natalie: It’s empowering for anyone who has athletic talents to be able to express themselves and show their gifts when they play. Being an athlete is a lifestyle. You eat, sleep and breathe fitness, performance and goal setting. I did that for nearly 20 years and I learned to have an appreciation for taking care of my body, and lately taking care of my mind. But I also grew up not seeing women’s sports in the spotlight. Now I see how far women’s sports have come and it’s beautiful. Not only are they showing how strong and badass they are in their sport, but they now get to leave an impression of who they are with their style. In softball, it’s all about the braid game, shoe game and glove swag. But shoes are a big deal! I was always taught that shoes make an outfit, and I always had this extra sense of “shit is about to go down” when I tied up my favourite Nike cleats before a game. I honestly wish I kept playing just so I can buy the sweet cleats on the market now… But things change and I get that same feeling when I put on one of my three Nike Roshe Aloha shoes, the clean Wimbledon sneakers, my fancy Air Max Thea Cherry Blossom or Sapphire blue runners.
Complete this sentence… To me, #shelace represents__
Natalie: To me, #shelace represents a fusion of different worlds and expectations. There is nothing like being “that girl” that can rock a blazer, blouse and pencil skirt and break the mold of switching heels for comfortable and elegant running shoes. I do love me a good stiletto and have many in my closet, but you can still achieve the presence and image that you’re a boss and be comfortable and realistic at the same time.
We’re glad Natalie decided to express her method of coping with “withdrawals” from the end of Wimbledon. All that high intensity action from the All England Club is quite the athletic spectacle. And, of course the sneakers had to satisfy the dress code for the tennis Grand Slam event: all white. From the gravel of the diamond, to the grass courts of Wimbledon… We’re certainly looking forward to collaborating with this all around athlete.
Is it ironic that when you love something on Instagram you express that through a “like”? (Granted, the symbol is a ❤). Now, let’s not get it confused… We love the “likes” and we like that we’re loved. BUT, this post is about loving the love. So, we love @likelesley but something tells us she just wants to be liked. Well, we don’t care what her handle implies we love her support and everything about her page. If Lesley doesn’t “like” that, too bad 😉. Get partially acquainted with this sneaker enthusiast:
The backdrop in the photo grabs your attention, especially with the contrasting colours… What role does art and creativity play in the photos you take?
Lesley: Photography is art. Art is all about creativity. With any photo I take, whether it be of my kicks or a person, the composition is what it all boils down to. The placement of the subject, the colours, and the use of negative spaces are the most important to me during the shooting and actually choosing the final photos to upload. I try to be as creative as possible with my pics, but sometimes “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. The picture you repost of my “Goddess” Flyknit Racers is the perfect example of that!
Sidenote: Lesley has a good grasp on photography techniques, check out some of her work.
What do sneakers mean to you, and what’s your favourite pair?
Lesley: Sneakers are a way for people to express themselves, their mood, etc. Kicks allow for a gateway into individual creativity, especially with your outfits. Depending on my mood I would wear a certain shoe, either to spice up an outfit or keep it nice and simple.
I don’t have a fav pair of sneakers, but my fav sneaker overall is the Roshe Run. I started collecting them when they dropped in 2012 and eventually stopped when they became too ubiquitous, only purchasing “exclusive” colour ways if I really liked them. When the Roshe Two released (not a fan at all) that was the end for me completely. I love Flyknit Racers as well, but who doesn’t. Roshe Runs will always be my favourite, regardless of how “basic” and widespread they are. I have around 35 different pairs of them including the baby ones hanging from my rearview mirror.
Why did you decide to use #shelace for this photo?
Lesley: I love what she.lace is all about! Empowering women through sneakers, being a platform that shows the world that there are women that love sneakers as much as men. I wouldn’t call myself a sneakerhead (even though I own close to 100 pairs), but I’m definitely a sneaker enthusiast. Women don’t get the same recognition or opportunities that men do within the sneaker world – from less options to lack of sizing, many women leave stores disappointed. I know this because I worked for Nike for the past 4.5 years and witnessed this first hand. Luckily for me, I never ran into this issue because I was always there and I just happen to fit into men’s, women’s, and kid’s footwear. she.lace’s social initiative of empowering and highlighting women throughout the city will hopefully make more of a change in the sneaker community! I plan on using #shelace in all of my future sneaker pics on Instagram because being a part of this empowering movement is as important as the change, in accessibility and options, that’ll happen.
Much more to reveal about @likelesley in the coming weeks!
Our blog this week is simply intended to highlight the support our movement has been getting thus far. It’s been a collectively great response that doesn’t go unnoticed and is greatly appreciated. We just wanted to reach out and say thank you for your support, and we just know it’ll be more of the same going forward. Start using #shelace, and if you started don’t stop.
Showing the world women love sneakers, one lace at a time!