Some of the Top Female Collaborators Blazing Trails in 2022

some-of-the-top-female-collaborators-blazing-trails-in-2022

As we continue to work towards a sneaker industry in 2023 that is more equal and inclusive, we’re taking a look back at the women who have been driving positive change for the greater good this year – through collaborations – killing it in those spaces and roles that women have historically not helmed. Whether it was via fashion, sport, or sustainability, there are so many individuals who are blazing new and exciting paths ahead. Check them out below.

Mimi Plange
via OLUWASEYE OLUSA

Mimi Plange

Ghanaian-born fashion designer Mimi Plange is an individual in the sneakerspace who’s breaking the mould by being ‘unfashion’. Plange‘s eponymous brand is renowned for creating ready-to-wear pieces, accessories and more, and in the sneakerspace, she‘s also known for her brand’s Nike collaborations. Over the past two years, Plange has worked on four colourways of the LeBron 18 Low model, including the ‘Higher Learning’ and ‘Daughters’ colourways, followed up this year by the ‘Scarred Perfection’ and ‘Mad King’.

Yoon Ahn DV3464-001, DV3464-002

Yoon Ahn

A name that needs no introduction in the sneakersphere, Yoon Ahn has continued to release her hot streak of AMBUSH x Nike collaborations all throughout the year. From the Nike Air Adjust Force to the Nike Air Force 1, Ahn brings AMBUSH’s futuristic, fierce energy to each release, breaking the stigma that women’s sneakers need to be ‘cute’ or ‘girly’. The AMBUSH brand has also continued its plans for global domination in 2022, with the opening of a brand new ,dedicated women’s store in Hong Kong.

Martine Rose
VIA VFILES/YOUTUBE
Martine Rose

Martine Rose

As mentioned in our feature on the best women’s sneakers of 2022, many inclusions were creations born from thinking outside of the box – and a collaborator who leads the way on this front is Martine Rose. Rose is a force to be reckoned with in the world of menswear, and this year, she’s solidified that spot for herself in women’s sneakers too. Of course, 2022 wasn’t Rose’s first time entering the world of sneakers, but her Nike Shox MR4 was undoubtedly her best entry yet, selling out on platforms worldwide.

Beth ‘Bephie’ Gibbs
via @bephie

Beth ‘Bephie’ Gibbs

Beth ‘Bephie’ Gibbs is the brains behind this year’s Bephies Beauty Supply x Air Jordan 7 – a sneaker that was featured on our list of the best women’s sneakers of 2022. Bephies Beauty Supply was founded by Gibbs in 2020, steadfastly making a name for itself by offering unique products from brands founded by WOC in business and art. In 2022, BBS brought their signature ethos and message of empowerment to the AJ7, and not only was a unique product created, but BBS also drove an impactful campaign to support the collaboration.

Helen Kirkum
IMAGE CREDIT: FRANCIS AUGUSTO

Helen Kirkum

In 2022, Helen Kirkum has continued to bring her unique technical know-how and conscientiousness for sustainability to the world of footwear through in-house work on major partnerships. Kicking the year off in a big way, Kirkum was tapped by ASICS to create 30 one-of-a-kind pairs of the GEL-1090 as part of ASICS’ ‘Crafts for Mind’ program. Even more recently, Kirkum debuted her brand’s very first ready-to-wear ‘Palimpsest’ sneaker and also helped Footpatrol celebrate their 20th anniversary by deconstructing a number of key Footpatrol sneakers, with each pair raffled off for charity.

Nora Vasconcellos
Nora Vasconcellos

Nora Vasconcellos

This year, pro skateboarder and illustrator Nora Vasconcellos became adidas Skateboarding’s first woman rider to receive and design her own Signature Pro silhouette. Together they created the NORA by Nora Vasconcellos collection, which featured the Pro model alongside apparel. Vasconcellos executed a silhouette with ties to the past, including adi’s Steffi Graf, Nastase and others. In addition to her achievements as a Pro Skater, Vasconcellos is also an advocate for mental health, aiming to break down stigma in the area through open conversation.

Chi Loyzaga Gibbs
via @chiiloyzagagibbs

Chi Loyzaga Gibbs

The bringback of the Air Jordan 2 has been undeniable as clean iterations continued to roll out all year long. Among them was a standout collaborative pair with retail store Titan, who tapped creative Chi Loyzaga Gibbs to spearhead the design. Inspired by her Filipino basketball heritage​ for the release, she looked to honour the legacy of her grandfather Carlos ‘Caloy’ Loyzaga, a Filipino basketball legend and member of the Philippine Men’s National Basketball team. Here’s to even more female-led Jordan Brand collaborations in 2023.,

Elena Delle Donne

This year, WNBA star Elena Delle Donne received her own signature sneaker with Nike: the Nike Air Deldon. As well as being a force on the court, the future Basketball Hall-of-Famer is an avid advocate of inclusivity, supporting the LGBTQIA+ and physically challenged communities at the core of all that she does. Her ethos can be seen reflected in the Nike Air Deldon, as the model was first and foremost designed as an inclusive sneaker. In terms of construction, the Air Deldon features an Air Strobel unit alongside a FlyEase upper, which gives the design a collapsible heel and an upper that opens wide for easy entry. Further celebrating the shoe’s message of inclusivity, Delle Donne also created a ‘Be True’ colourway.

Jessica Gonsalves

Jessica Gonsalves

Jessica Gonsalves is the co-owner of NYC-based vintage store Procell, and in 2022, Gonsalves secured her own collaboration with ASICS. The ASICS colab has been a long time coming (it was originally showcased in 2021!), and this year, it finally saw a release. For her debut collaboration, Gonsalves worked on the GEL-Nimbus 9, looking to the seaside for inspiration, resulting in a neat, pearlescent colourway.

For a collection of in-depth interviews and features, head over to <Platform> – an inclusive space created by Sneaker Freaker, which aims to champion the women who are breaking barriers and are helping to shape the sneaker and streetwear industry.

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