One of my most vivid memories as a teenager is going to school with the newly-released Nike Air Jordan III Retros in white and grey. It wasn’t often that my parents agreed to drop more than $100 on any pair of shoes for me, but I had enough savings from my part-time job at Finish Line (that employee discount helped, too), and it felt good to flex in the sneakers I’d always wanted. From there, I stockpiled “holy grail” kicks like my beloved black and red Nike Jordan 1’s and the Notebook Nike Dunks (a pair I sold out of financial desperation in college and have regretted it ever since.)
Fast forward to adulthood, I’ve collected a few corporate jobs with “business casual” dress requirements under my belt, which admittedly caused me to lose touch with my sneakerhead roots. At 25, I was laser-focused on climbing the corporate ladder in public relations, which meant my most casual shoes (besides my running sneakers) were a pair of ballet flats from ASOS. By 27, the only thing I hated more than working in public relations was having to wear stuffy business clothes that I didn’t feel comfortable in. I missed being a sneakerhead and I wanted my identity back.
Thank God for career changes. As an editor at a company that welcomes personal expression, I can wear sneakers to the office without attracting side-eyes from my bosses. As fate would have it, 2020 is the perfect year to fall back in love with sneaker culture.
Nike, a company celebrating 30 years of Air Max this month, recently invited me to London for the debut of three new Air Max styles–the Air Max Verona, the Air Max 2090 and the Air Max 90 Flyease. The city of London has influenced streetwear for decades, so it only made sense to host this two-day experience across the pond.
What really excited me is that Nike is leading the charge in making sneaker culture more inclusive of women. It’s one of the reasons why the Nike Air Max Verona, with its pastel colorway and trunk heel, was exclusively designed for women.
Juliana Sagat, Nike’s Footwear Designer, said the air technology is still evolving. “We have so much diversity in terms of air technology and women are the main focus right now,” Sagat told ESSENCE.
An improvement on a classic design, the Air Max 2090 captured my eye immediately. It has an increase air unit for more bounce in your step, a cleverly cropped swoosh, and opaque colorway–delivering both style and substance.
The best part of the experience was getting to style myself wearing the soon-to-be-released Air Max 2090. True to my ’90s cozy queen aesthetic, I went for the sportiest look possible with an oversized windbreaker jacket, biker shorts and high-cut running socks.
After I returned to the states, I felt inspired to pair the 2090’s with more feminine looks, like this burnt orange turtle neck dress.
The Nike Air Max 2090 releases globally this month, but you can get your hands on the Nike Air Max Verona now on Nike.com.Share :