As the years go on, more women and creatives are receiving the chance to showcase their love for sneakers by creating and designing a pair of their own with a story to tell.
Introducing you to a platform called We Are Cultivator.
What is We Are Cultivator you ask? We Are Cultivator teamed up with Nike to give us Nike By You x Cultivator, a platform that gives creative people a bold new way to tell their stories — on a pair of Nike sneakers. The company provides the materials and the technology that allow you to tell your story on personalized sneakers.
Recently a young female from Staten Island by the name of Breeana Walker caught our eye for what she brings to the table, hard work and authenticity. Walker, a sneaker authenticator with a degree in interior design is now apart of the Nike By You x Cultivator program. We caught up with Breeana to ask her a few questions about her design, what this opportunity means to her and more:
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Honored and humbled to announce that I have been selected to be a guest designer and co-creator for @wearecultivator x Nikebyyou for this upcoming sneaker drop. The theme for this drop is about giving thanks and so I decided to pay homage to my late Basketball trainer and life mentor EDDIE WATKINS . For those that know him and those that don’t ; he was an unparalleled man who spent over 40 years training and coaching the youth in basketball on Staten Island and throughout NYC. He used ball as an outlet to teach us lessons that went way beyond any basketball court. For his many years coaching and training, he ran a B-ball camp called Rising Stars where I and so many others learned the fundamentals of basketball, life, and self worth. He was a man that told the best stories and always knew what to say, but one thing he told us that stuck with me was: “ You gotta be seasoned to be in the game”. To be seasoned is when you’re capable of doing something and doing it well. It means that you can be faced with anything and be willing and ready to take on that task . Ed was the most selfless, challenging , and seasoned person I’d ever known. Although he passed in 2017, his legacy lives on. I am grateful to be able to design this shoe and honor his life, as well as his impact . The sneaker will release FRIDAY NOVEMBER 1st @ 8 AM at Nike.com – PSA: I will also be hosting a SNEAKER LAUNCH EVENT / POP UP SHOP: Friday Nov 1st 7-10pm !!!!! 191 HENRY STREET , NY Directed by: Me Shot by : @boatandbridge📽 Edited by : @laidbaack 🎥📹 Sounds by : @hypedidit 💽 Thank you ! ❤️
“You gotta be seasoned” that has a nice ring to it. Where did that saying come from?
A man by the name of Ed Watkins once said: “You gotta be seasoned to be in the game.” To be seasoned means you’ve mastered your craft and you’re ready to take on anything. Ed Watkins; my late coach and mentor spent over 40 years teaching NYC youth the game of basketball and life. His dedication and selflessness were unmatched. This sneaker honors his legacy.
How did your major (interior design) help prepare you to become a footwear designer?
Studying interior design is what really opened my eyes to the design process. Interior design helped me prepare for footwear design because It taught me how to source fabrics and materials and how they should be utilized. I also learned how essential a design concept is so that you know the direction you’re going in for your designs and each of these things are being carried over into my studies of footwear design as well.
What is one life lesson you learned growing up in Staten Island that stuck with you ’til this day?
One life lesson I learned while growing up In Staten Island is that you have to have drive. I feel that a lot of people on Staten Island get comfortable and never leave and it was important for me to learn early on that If I wanted something done I had to go and get it. Therefore I learned how to be proactive and I understood that staying in Staten Island wasn’t going to get me to where I wanted to be so I had to have that determination to get it myself.
I see that you wear a lot of Nike. What is your favorite Nike silhouette?
My favorite Nike silhouette is the Nike Air Force 1 simply because its one of the most iconic sneakers of all time and its versatility is unmatched. As a designer, it is also the perfect canvas shoe, and with all of the advancements in sneaker design, it still stands as an essential part of my sneaker rotation.
Why Nike? Why not Adidas or Reebok?
As someone who grew up playing basketball, Nike was always the brand of shoes I played in and eventually they took up my entire closet. I’d choose Nike any day because it is an athletic brand that speaks to you. Their designs, marketing strategies and the way they tell a story are unmatched. It is a brand and company I have felt connected to since I was a child and I’ve watched it grow into my adulthood.
What do you expect to gain from this experience?
What I hope to take away from this experience is an opportunity to be recognized for my skills and who I am as an Individual. Ultimately I expect this experience to open more doors for me and create connections that will further myself in the sneaker world.
What can we expect next in your career?
My next endeavor is to finish my studies in footwear design and eventually have my own shoe with an athletic brand (Ideally Nike or Jordan) that is mass-produced and unisex! As a young woman who has spent her entire life being in a male-dominated sneaker industry, I’d love to bring my creativity to the table and represent the women who are just like one of the guys.
Besides your coach Ed Watkins, who do you look to for inspiration, who keeps you motivated?
I find inspiration and motivation in many things; from gallery visits and architecture to music and movies. However, one of my biggest motivators would have to be my big brother Teshawn. He keeps me motivated because he challenges me in everything that I do and he encourages me to push the boundaries I have set for myself. He has also been a huge mentor to me since I was a kid by introducing me to basketball, music, art, and sneakers in itself.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I see myself living in Brooklyn with my English Bulldog and designing footwear for a major athletic brand. I want to create timeless sneakers for men and women that are both functional and striking. I also want to have my own collaboration with Ikea where I can bridge my interior design and footwear design knowledge to create a home decor collection that caters to young adults that are passionate about sneakers and appreciate minimal design.
You can now purchase Breeana’s sneaker for a limited time on Nike.com. Check out her Instagram and stay tuned for any up and coming projects she may be working on. Also, if you love sneakers and have a great story to tell sign up here if you’re interested in applying to become a NBY x Cultivator creator.