As the Jordan Brand Women’s Collective is now front and center, we had to do our part by digging deeper into the Collective and the phenomenal women involved in it, starting with the ladies of the Chicago cohort. It’s only right that when it comes to Jordan Brand, Chicago puts on, and this exemplary group has left no doubt to be an elite tribe. I was lucky enough to meet most of them the day they all met each other last fall. It’s been a privilege to have been able to experience them forge a bond, make memories, and create such priceless moments that solidify what lifelong bonds and true sisterhood means. We have no doubt that this was the intention behind Jordan Brand’s Global Women Collective, and knowing Chicago was one of the cohorts of their inaugural season, we’re excited to see how this shapes the city’s future when it comes to women being the difference they hope to see, by having the access, resources, and support, to truly make that happen, courtesy of their own work ethic and efforts, alongside Jordan Brand’s contribution.
There were many experiences for them to partake in and each one left no crumbs when it came to Jordan Brand pulling out all the stops. They had a chauffeur take them to the airport, where this group took over First Class, and flew to Texas. They arrived to have lunch at James Whitner’s A Ma Maniere, where they received a private view of this concept store, with access to exclusive collaboration products, and a private lunch led by their female chef – you know we love all things women led! It didn’t stop there though because it was only right that they pulled up to Johnny Dang & Co to receive a custom grill for each member of the Collective. Then you know they had to go get a run in because ball is life, so they got the privilege of playing alongside Chelsea Dungee, being an amazing WNBA athlete, as well as several women coaches, at Delmar Arena. Alas, a Premium Goods visit was on the books, and as expected, did not disappoint. The Chicago Collective got to tour and shop with the owner, Jennifer Ford, while they discussed Jennifer’s journey as one of the few sneaker boutique owners in the U.S. Yet, I believe the most meaningful aspect of this trip was the Miraval Resort, where the moments experienced here helped the Chicago Collective forge the lasting longevity of memories, which is exactly what this Jordan Brand Women’s Collective was created for. They were able to break away from the worries of the world, to lock in with their surroundings and one another, for a life changing weekend of forging life-long bonds. Intentionality was key, as dialogue engaged alongside Chelsea Dungee, WNBA athlete, and Sheryl Swoopes, WNBA Champion and Hall of Famer. These conversations centered around wellness and connection, as well as what grounds us, as women in these spaces, day-to-day.
Additionally, we were able to go more in depth with two of these amazing ladies, who are a part of this inaugural class of the Chicago Collective. Kirsten Corley-Bennett, founder of Boby, was one of them. Boby represents the “celebration of being exactly who you are. It’s a kids wear company born out of the desire to see more representation and inclusivity in the kids apparel space, where they seek to amplify voices of children and moms of color.” When asked how she is making space for fellow women to thrive and how she is making more opportunities for the surrounding women, she answered, “One of my goals with Boby is to create spaces that uplift women. I’m a big advocate for mental health, bringing awareness to the importance of taking care of your emotional wellbeing, and creating safe spaces for women to talk about their issues and feelings.”
Ana Sierra, CEO of ASWBL, also shared what community means to her. ASWBL is a Chicago Pro-Am that was created to empower girls and women to fulfill their dreams on and off the court, as it exudes the importance of community, unity and giving back. Ana stated that, “I have a voice and responsibility to uplift, empower, inspire, to make sure girls/women hoopers are included on future program projects, platforms. Community, family, paying it forward, giving back, is my way of life so it’s in my nature, DNA. New York City is home, Chicago is also home! On this journey, Chi is where I’ve gained purpose, fulfillment, family, some of my best friends & other amazing relationships of my life like my mentors, mentees, support system, professional network/collabs, partners etc.”
In the end and with great intention, it is beautiful to see how Jordan Brand curated the Collective to include women who are doing the actual work to exemplify what community truly means, in each of their respective cities. What Chicago means to Jordan Brand speaks for itself, by way of basketball and sneaker culture history. Yet, to know that a new story is unfolding in front of our very own eyes today, shows what the future of this city will be, and the legacy that each of their personal purposes will leave. We’re even more excited to see the magic that they make when you combine these powers together. We already know we’re a movement individually, but even more of a force when bonded together. Jordan Brand has done just that with this Global Women’s Collective, as we’re elated to see what the other city-cohorts consist of, as these dynamic groups of women continue to raise the bar and elevate their influence, in all that they continue to do!