Steering clear of the stereotypical female sneaker, Gabriella has chosen a sneaker not only usually reserved for the men, but a sports performance shoe at that, a brave move in a scene saturated with retros and classic styles. We catch up with the MAMA creator to find out just why she has made such a bold move and what this will hopefully mean for the direction of female footwear in years to come.
Hey Mama, what’s cooking?
Hey Mafia, thanks for taking time out to chat. What’s cooking?? My Pro Mama!!
Let’s jump straight into it, how did the adidas collaboration come about and how long have you kept this puppy under wraps?
It’s been under wraps for about a year and it’s been sooo hard to keep this a secret! The collaboration came about by someone from Adidas approaching my friend who was wearing a Mama nameplate. He asked her what Adidas had to do to get a Mama shoe going and the rest is history.
Why the ProModel Basketball boot? It’s a very technical looking shoe with a ‘90s feel which is “so right now!” It doesn’t seem an obvious choice for a ladies shoe, yet it makes perfect sense when females complain about not being able to get men’s sneakers in small sizes!
Well, I’m one of those ladies who complain about not being able to get men’s sneakers in small sizes. I really wanted to create something different for the ladies - something that I thought was missing from the market and that I would want to rock. I wanted to show people that a shoe can still be feminine without being pink. I could have gone for a low-profile silhouette but I also think that’s a misconception of “what women want.” I live in high tops so I knew whatever shoe I did, it had to be a high top. And, then there was the whole challenge of taking a shoe that’s made for performance and giving it a fashion twist and making it look fly.
Where did you start with the collaboration? Where did the ideas flow from?
It’s funny, because I had dreamt of designing a shoe for so long that when it finally happened, I froze for a second. I mean, if I was going to put my name on it, it had to be dope. And, there’s been so much craziness on shoes for so long it was a little intimidating because I wanted to do something that no one else had done. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to get across in the shoe and how I could brand it so that it still looked like a Mama product. I really just tried to concentrate on the themes and motifs that make Mama different and tried to adapt that to the design of the shoe.
How much freedom did adidas give you to produce something that compliments both brands?
They let me do whatever I wanted. Since I was designing a performance shoe, the quality control tests are a lot stricter than for other shoes. Some of my ideas didn’t make it past abrasion tests but I think challenges like that make for better design at the end of the day.
Tell us about some of the features and the awesome accessory tie ins for the ProMAMA. Every ghetto girl will want those lace locks and MAMA nameplate necklace!
Haha. Thank you. I always wanted a nameplate lace lock – it seemed the most obvious choice for a lace lock so I went with it. To go along with the lace lock I’m re-issuing a very limited number of Mama nameplates as well. I also did a New Era Ladies’ 5950 to coordinate with the shoe. The lace on the hat ties into the lace print on the insole. And then there’s apparel too! I made a heart-quilted hoodie, and a tracksuit complete with “tear away” pants. Also, be on the lookout for some logo tees that tie into the colorway of the shoe.
This is not your first collaboration with another brand. MAMA has worked with Montana, Juicy Cosmetics and of course New Era, to name a few. How was it working alongside a massive sneaker brand and just how much knowledge did you gain from a footwear perspective?
Wow. It was an amazing experience. Adidas had access to the best materials, resources and newest/latest technologies. It’s cool to see how the big companies run and it was a tremendous learning experience. It was really interesting to see all the factors that go into making and launching a shoe.
You’re a massive sneaker head and collect many styles and brands, rather than sticking with the same product. How important was it for you to create something for the ladies that wasn’t your stock standard garish female sneaker?
Mafia, you crack me up. I was on a mission to show the world that you could have a sneaker that was fun and feminine without being an Easter-egg colour. What is up with that??? There’s a BIG misconception in the sneaker world on what people think women want and it’s really inaccurate. Lots of ladies like men’s sneakers better because they come in normal colours. How many pink shoes can a girl own?
How can we get a hold of the ProMAMA sneaker? Because I know females worldwide will be applauding this shoe and will do anything to cop it. Just how limited will it be.
500 pairs are being made worldwide. It’s a U.S. release but I have a few international accounts that will have the shoe like Colette in Paris and Patta in Amsterdam.
What’s up next for MAMA? You have so much on your plate from your label MAMA to your partner Ali’s label One Hit Wonder, to your online magazine MISS CREW to tradeshows, when do you ever rest lady!
More and more dope product for the ladies!! Stay tuned!! Check out mamaclothing.com, misscrew.com and onehitwondersf.com!! Rest? There’s no time to rest. I can rest when I’m dead.
Check our more info and pics here http://www.sneakerfreaker.com/sneaker-releases/Adidas-X-Mama---Promama/