Welcome to #MadeForTheW’s sneaker appreciation segment, where we introduce you to women who collect sneakers, work in the footwear industry, and/or impacting the sneaker culture. This week, we introduce you to one woman who has a podcast that discusses current events about sneakers.
DD: What’s your name, where you from, and what made you start collecting sneakers? My name is Gabby Rosenthal, born and raised in New Jersey. I’ve always been into sports, basketball, and tennis in particular. Sneakers and athletic wear have been a form of expression for me. The Nike Air Zoom Flight 95s that Jason Kidd wore growing up were the coolest. I got back into collecting after I got a pair of Bred 11s, and the Nike Sky High Dunks from the city collection had me hooked again.
What was the first sneaker you purchased? The first pair of sneakers I purchased with my adult money was a pair of Bred 11s. The first pair I got that got me hooked though? The Nike Sky High Dunks from the city collection – I had the NYC pair. I refuse to ever get rid of them, even though I haven’t worn them in years. There’s something about buying sneakers you had as a kid too.
What was the earliest you remember about collecting sneakers? I remember the way it made me feel. I had a unique style growing up, always experimenting with fashion. I was never a girly girl but had an appreciation for patterns, textures, and design. The complexity of some of the sneaker silhouettes is truly beautiful, especially when you look at them from a fashion meets function lens. When friends would ask why I had so many sneakers, I would respond with “why do you have so many shoes?” The versatility of sneakers, especially now as part of more mainstream fashion culture, is what I’m still the most drawn to. I wear my kicks so I will always choose design and functionality over hype.
What’s your favorite sneaker in your collection? My favorite sneaker is my Toro Bravo Air Jordan 4. It’s one of my favorite colorways of the Jordan 4, with the nod to the OG Chicago colors. They make a statement. I also love my Jordan Gold Toe 1s and my Air Max 1 NFL women’s exclusive for Super Bowl 50. Just got a new pair on eBay since my other pair I have are showing their wear over the years.
What sneaker is missing from your collection? I don’t know what it is about this sneaker but I love the Yeezy 750 Wave Runner in the original colorway. It’s so versatile, as adidas shoes are so comfortable and the quirkiness of the colors is beautiful. Also copping multiple pairs of the Nike Air Zoom Flight 95 when it retros again.
Any sneaker stories you wanna share? I never win anything but am fascinated with the whole raffle process. No other item (until recently with collectibles and certain street west collabs) do you enter raffles for a chance to buy something at full price. The resale game though has gotten so crazy that you should always make sure you know where you’re getting your sneakers. I thought I had won a pair of Chunky Dunks on this resale site and I got scammed. My advice: if it seems to be too good to be true, it probably is! I got caught in the hype.
Which sneaker in the future are you looking forward to cop? I am excited about the Lightning 4s that are dropping in August. One of my favorite silhouettes. Also was super hype about the Reebok Question Mid Motorsports.
Which sneaker in the future are you looking forward to cop? Loving everything that Playa Society is doing. They are changing the conversation for gender equality, while still championing the voices of women in sports and sneaker culture.
Which women in the industry do you recognize? There are so many amazing women in the industry that are making a difference and changing the conversation. Big fan of the work that Channing and Cassidy are doing over at CNK Daily, providing a platform for women in the game. I really look up to Jazerai Allen-Lord. Everyone can benefit from learning from her. She is a wealth of knowledge in the culture and a true champion of women and creatives. Also love seeing Talks with TJ on the come-up! Big things coming from that girl. She is one to watch!
If you had the chance to address these footwear brands, what would you want them to know? Be inclusive. Sizes, shapes, colors. Fashion isn’t one size (or silhouette) fits all. We’re moving away from the pink and shrink model, but the best thing brands can do for women is giving them options. Not everyone looks great in a crop top and joggers. And that’s okay! By giving options to women, brands allow them to celebrate who they are and embrace their personal style.