Welcome to #MFTW Sneaker Feature segment, where we introduce you to women who collect sneakers, work in the footwear industry, and/or impact the sneaker culture. This week, we introduce you to one woman who is dominating the scene, by voicing her opinions about the footwear industry through modeling.
WHAT’S UP !
It’s ya girl Corinna aka Bronx Bonita, LIVE from the Mecca, The Boogie Down BRONX. Truth is I don’t have an “awe” moment in time where I was like I’m going to collect sneakers. I’d like to think the sneaker life chose me. I was always attracted to sneakers, as they were a key component to complete an outfit. My moms always made sure I was well dressed, and when I was old enough to shop for myself, my pops always took me to local spots to cop kicks.
DeeDee: What was the first sneaker you purchased?
Corinna: I want to say the year was ’06 when I landed my first job at a local pharmacy. It was my first taste of my own money, and man I’m sure I spent my first check shopping in SoHo. If you know, during that time everyone was taking that train ride to the city, to scope out the latest kicks on Broadway, and if you were lucky, you came home with a fire pair. During that time, Nike Dunks were in heavy, so I want to say it was probably a fire colorway Dunk Low (GR). Trust me, I’ve been taking L’s way before the SNKRS app lol.
DeeDee: What was the earliest memory you have about collecting sneakers?
Corinna: One of my earliest memories was the actual hunt. Back then, you had to either wait in line, which my parents weren’t having at that time, or know somebody at a local mom and pop shop. My childhood best friend and I would call up our favorite mom and pop shops. This specific release was for the Olympic VII’s. We woke up early on a Saturday morning and called up BX Sports, the Westchester Ave. location, right under the 6 line in the Bronx. Rest assured, we both walked out with a pair that morning – the sneaker goddesses were in our favor that day. I have no doubt we rocked them to school that Monday morning, feeling on top of the world. It’s crazy to think that we were only in junior high school then, but in those years, the Jordan releases had us in a chokehold IRL.
DeeDee: What’s your favorite sneaker in your collection?
Corinna: My favorite sneaker in my collection was actually gifted to me. An OG 1996 Air Penny II – White/ Varsity Royal-Black. I was able to wear them once or twice, but I stopped wearing them due to the risk of the shoe cracking. The colorway is so simple, but the shoe is super clean! One thing about me is that I love originals. Classics like the Banned Air Jordan I’s and the infrared Air Max 90’s, stand in line with my favorite pairs in my collection.
DeeDee: What sneaker is missing from your collection?
Corinna: Stash AF1 or AM95, Nike x Stussy Cherry SB’s, and Nike Hello Kitty Prestos. A more to-date shoe would be the Off-White Sail Air Jordan V or the 2017 Aleali May Air Jordan I.
DeeDee: Any sneaker stories you wanna share?
Corinna: A full-circle moment for me was booking my first modeling job with Footlocker back in 2020. 12 years prior, I was fresh out of high school, working the sales floor at the Footlocker on 34th Street, which back then, the store was in the middle of the block. I mean, 18-year old me had only wished I could model for such a big brand. My wish later manifested, and it did not stop there. Fast forward to 2021, I jumped with joy as I viewed myself on the jumbotron above the Footlocker on 42nd Street.
Today, I am currently in the works of creating content for Footlocker’s social media channels, and sometimes, I’m just like someone PINCH ME. Sneakers have and continue to open doors for me, and it’s such a blessing to be able to work, without it feeling like work. For some people, sneakers are just a thing, but for others like myself, it is a lifestyle, a part of our everyday life and I love it here.
DeeDee: Which future sneaker are you looking forward to copping?
Corinna: This year I’m kinda holding off on sneaker purchases BUT I am hoping to hit on the Fire Red III’s. I missed those years ago when they released and there’s nothing like the OG Nike Air logo on the back. Sheesh, that’s going to be a good one.
DeeDee: Which brand, in your opinion, is killing it?
Corinna: Saucony! I really love what Trinidad James is doing with his collaboration with the brand. The storytelling is there, and so is COMMUNITY. Nothing speaks to me more than a shoe and/or collaboration with meaning. Aside from this specific collaboration, I feel like Saucony has been going crazy with bringing their classic silhouettes to life with some eye-catching colorways. I am a geek for materials, and a good friend always reminds me “details matter”.
DeeDee: Which women exclusive release was your favorite?
Corinna: If we’re talking 2021, hands down the A Maniere AJ III’s. I wish I had these actually. If you’re reading this, I wear a size 6.5W 😉
DeeDee: If you had the chance to address these footwear brands, what would you want them to know?
Corinna: I believe it is imperative that we move towards a more eco-friendly sneaker production process. The sneaker industry is a billion dollar industry, which means the demand for kicks is at an all-time high. I’m concerned that the mass production of sneakers is potentially harming our planet. With the influx in releases yearly, all I can think about is 1. the labor put into production and 2. the effects on our planet. I do not believe this conversation is being mentioned enough at these big corporations. Yes, I see the gear towards using recycled materials which is a great start. But long term, how are we tackling the BIGGEST PROBLEM?
There was a time when shoes improved the quality of life, and in ways this is still true, but on the flipside today, we are faced with large amounts of pollution due to chemicals and toxins found in the materials used to produce sneakers. I ask, what are these footwear brands doing to create a sustainable lifestyle for our future? And I challenge these brands to speak more aggressively, not just about what shoe is dropping next, but how as a human race, can we come together and help improve the quality of life of sneakers.