In 2008, adidas approached Liz Baca and Gabriella Davi-Khorasanee of M.I.S.S. to consult on their women’s basketball program. They were given the opportunity to give the new Fina model a ‘M.I.S.S.’ twist and the result is the ‘Always A Lady’ Fina. All set to release in Spring 2010, adidas mysteriously pulled the foxy Fina from production. With only twenty-five pairs in existence, the ladies finally sat down to chat candidly about their sneaker that never was... Determined to get the scoop on the M.I.S.S. x Mama adidas, we tried to interview Gabriella and Liz Baca.
Instead we intercepted this transcript of their INSTANT MESSENGER conversation....
LIZ: Soooo, the MISS x Mama sneaker... pretty sexy, huh?
GAB: Sooo sexy. I can’t believe it’s been 2 years since we designed the shoe
L: How is it that we can create something sooooo sexy but outwardly not appear to be as sexy?
G: What? Speak for yourself. I’m very sexy in sweatpants.
L: Perhaps we represent that old saying ‘A lady in the streets and a freak in the sheets!’ BooYAH!
G: Hahahaha. I’m blushing. A lady doesn’t kiss and tell. Are we at 700 words yet?
L: And yes, I totally agree, sweatpants can be very sexy. Exhibit A: Our photoshoot...hubbahubbazingzing!
G: YES. Speaking of sexy, the baby just spit up all over the place.
L: Oooooh, that’s too sexy for IM Your life...too sexy for IM
G: I loved your vintage lingerie
L: Oh, thank you!
G: And hello? Chanel basketball? Yes please!
L: YES! Ha! Well you know how we first tried to design that lingerie sneaker
G: Yes, the one that adidas said would not pass any of the performance tests.
L: That’s how we do!
G: You mean what would have been the most amazing sneaker EVER?
G: Yes, sorry, err... EVA! We really pushed the boundaries
L: Push it real good. Um, hello!
G: ‘Salt ‘n Pepa here and we’re in effect want you to push it babe’
L: Hi, Gabriella, we’re trying to conduct an ‘interview’ here
G: So I guess we should tell people about the shoe?
L: It’s the shoes! Yes
G: Ahem.... (putting on serious face)
L: So serious. So, this isn’t your first time designing a sneaker but we had the chance to do this one together. Go TEAM!
G: High Five! No, I did the Pro Mama which was fun. But the initial design also did not pass the performance test. I’m seeing a trend here... Mental note - lace won’t pass an abrasion test - ever. I mean, EVA!
L: Nor will butt ruffles
G: So, this was your first time designing a shoe. Was it everything you imagined and more?
L: Oh yes! The long nights, working on insane deadlines
G: Those were some late nights. But that’s when the magic happens, no?
L: It was everything I ‘loved’ about being a fashion designer...which is why I quit that job years ago...hmmm. But for real I did love the process I always said if I had the chance to design a sneaker, I would go all out, go crazy! And going through this process I now know perhaps why the ‘crazy’ and ‘insane’ elements don’t make it past the first stage...booooo! Butt ruffles!! I don’t like being told ‘no’
G: ‘Could’ve been soo beautiful, could’ve been so right...’
L: Especially in the creative process
G: I know, but when you’re told no, you just have to hit the drawing board and come up with something better. It pushes you beyond what you thought you were capable of.
L: But we can’t have the ladies tripping up on their kicks while slam dunk’n! Now can we...
L: What’s better than butt ruffles??
G: Being ‘always a lady’
L: I Cuban heel!! um, A Cuban heel!
G: Yes, aye Cuban heel
L: Aye, aye, aye! Please pardon this break as Gabriella sings songs to Asiya Sofia. Ok, we’re back!
G: In full effect! So let’s break down all the elements of the shoe
L: Break it on dooown! Yes!
G: The shoe represents the things that a lady has in her arsenal that help her be a lady
L: That help her showcase her
L: We have...
G: We’ve got black croc - because every lady has some croc stilettos and handbag
L: An old world piece of inspiration...looking to our mom’s and grandmothers that came from an era of getting ‘dressed up’ everyday. I couldn’t wear heels everyday if my life depended on it. But I do know how to wear heels. With that, there’s the trim and monogramming from a hanky. How many ladies still carry a hanky? I do!
G: I love hankies. You can drop one on the ground so your suitors can come around and swoop it up for you. Just kidding.
L: No you’re not G: But yes, I love hankies, I have some that my grandmother embroidered for her trousseau
L: And how about that Cuban Heel seam up the back? Sexy Back!
G: I love seamed nylons - if you’re going to wear stockings they’re the only kind one should wear.
L: I agree. And ladies, PLEASE make sure your seams are straight!!
G: Those ladies in the 40’s were definitely sexy. During WWII they would draw their seams in because nylon was rationed and being used for parachutes. What else? Oh, the lace!
L: Duh, the lace!
G: We were finally able to put it on but it has a protective coating - for the abrasion test. That is the bane of my existence.
L: Yeah, it was great there was a way we could do that. And the satin...laces!
G: Like a corset!
L: Heheh, yes all very lingerie
G: The insole is leopard print because all ladies need a bit of animal print... rawr!
L: ‘Freak in the sheets’! Sorry, I like making you blush
G: And of course there’s the ‘Always A Lady’ lace locks
L: Yes, this shoe represents the phrase ‘always a lady’... in sneaker formation
G: YO, we’re at 875 words...
Photo: Amanda Lopez
Producer: Gabriella Davi-Khorasanee
Styling: Liz Baca
Model: Tiffany H., LOOK
Makeup: Jenni Tay
Hair: James Griffiths, Salon Blu, LOOK