Welcome to #MFTW sneaker feature, where we showcase women who collect sneakers, work in the footwear industry, and/or impacting the sneaker culture. This week, we introduce you to a woman who uses her social media as a platform to inform the community about releases and issues women face in the footwear industry.
DeeDee: What’s your name, where you from, and what made you start collecting sneakers?
Christina: My name is Christina Kenan and I am the proud owner of “If I Can’t Wear SNKRS” (@If_I_Can’t_Wear_SNKRS) on Instagram, where I provide worldwide sneaker drop information to women only. I am from P.G. County, MD and I started collecting sneakers after getting my first pair of Nike Air Max Plus TN.
DeeDee: What was the first sneaker you purchased?
Christina: The first sneaker I purchased with my own money had to be a pair of high-top Converse.
DeeDee: What was the earliest you remember about collecting sneakers?
Christina: The earliest memory I had about collecting sneakers was back in 1999, when I saw a good friend in a pair of Nike Air Max Plus (aka the TN). She wore them with our school uniform and some slouchy socks and instantly, I was mesmerized. Up to that point, my mom had only bought me Sketchers and I was tired of looking like a Spice Girl lol. I begged and begged my mom for a pair and she eventually gave in and bought me the Nike Air Max Plus TN – in the Hyper Blue colorway. I wore them to school the next day and got so many compliments. It was honestly euphoric, and that started me down the journey of falling in love with sneakers.
DeeDee: What’s your favorite sneaker in your collection?
Christina: My favorite sneaker in my collection hands down, is the Jordan 1 Fearless Melody Ehsani.
DeeDee: What sneaker is missing from your collection?
Christina: A sneaker I’m missing from my collection is the Jordan 1 High Travis Scott – those are the grails that got away.
DeeDee: Any sneaker stories you wanna share?
Christina: I actually have two sneaker stories that I want to share that are actually connected, starting with how I got my pair of Jordan 1 Fearless Melody Ehsani. I’ve been a stan of Melody Ehsani since 2008, back when she had her half-shaved head and had her jewelry in Karmaloop. I had stepped away from the sneaker game for a few months until I saw her Jordan 1’s and I knew I had to own a pair. Of course when the drop on her website happened, the bots snatched all the inventory, and my heart was broken. That’s when she announced that the Melody Ehsani Team would be canceling all the orders and sending out invoices manually. I started tweeting her telling her how much I loved her, her brand, and how long I’ve been a supporter. I ended up falling asleep, but I woke up to a tweet from her asking me what size I needed, and my mind was blown. We exchanged a few DMs and initially, she did not have my size. I thanked her for her time, and everything her and her team did for that release, and took my L. Then a few days later, she sent me another DM asking for my email and sent me an invoice. That’s how I was able to grab the most prized shoe in my collection.
The second story is surrounding the Jordan OG Melody Ehsani. These initially were supposed to be released at both of her stores, but during that time, it was the beginning of the global shutdown due to COVID, so it was canceled. She moved the release to her website and unfortunately, the bots snatched that inventory again. Her and her team canceled all of the orders once again and told everyone to standby as more information is released. During that time, I ended up having a conversation with a young woman on Twitter about our common love of Melody Ehsani. That’s when Melody Ehsani announced more release information on Instagram. I ended up keeping the young woman up to date about the fast-moving release information, just so she could stay up to date. I went to sleep and woke up to a DM from the Melody Ehsani team asking for my email to send me an invoice, as well as a screenshot of the interaction between the young woman and I, asking for her email address as well. To make a long story short, they ended up blessing us both with an invoice to purchase her shoes. That interaction sparked my idea of creating “If I Can’t Wear SNKRS” (@If_I_Can’t_Wear_SNKRS). To keep up the good karma and to help more women cop sneakers, by providing sneaker drop information.
DeeDee: Which sneaker in the future are you looking forward to cop?
Christina: The sneaker I’m looking forward to copping in the future are any female women’s exclusives Also, praying that Melody Ehsani has another Jordan collab up her sleeve. A brand that I feel is killing it, is of course, Nike, especially with their release of women’s exclusive Nike dunk colorways.
DeeDee: Which women in the industry do you recognize?
Christina: There are several women I recognize in the sneaker industry. But the women who I consider the pioneers and look up to the most are Vashtie Kola, Melody Ehsani, Aleali May, and Jazerai Allen-Lord. From a business perspective, I look up to Olivia Kim (Vice President, Creative Projects and Home at Nordstrom), Abby Albino & Shelby Weaver (owners of Makeway in Toronto), and Rio Holland & Bethany Haggarty (owners of Pam Pam in London).
DeeDee: If you had the chance to address these footwear brands, what would you want them to know?
Christina: If I had the opportunity to address these footwear brands, I would first ask them to be more size-inclusive during drops. I know some women have smaller feet and do not want to buy big kid sizing because the quality isn’t there. On the other side of that spectrum, are women with big feet above a size 12 W, that also want to participate in women’s exclusives. Please be more size-inclusive. Also, I’d ask them to start highlighting the everyday consumer. I understand using influencers are beneficial to both parties, but I can guarantee the everyday consumer is way more invested in that brand. Acknowledge that and celebrate it.