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 shed light on one woman from Brooklyn who collects sneakers because it represent her style and sneakers represent positive things about her life.
DD: What’s your name, where you from, and what made you start collecting sneakers?
Hey! I’m Shanley, @ShanleySmalls on the socials, and I’m from NYC. Well, it started with growing up, taking walks with my mom, walking into different stores and picking up any sneakers that I liked, and she could afford, especially when they were on sale (We won’t ever give up a good deal!)
What was the first sneaker you purchased?
Shanley: I honestly do not remember. However, the first “name-brand” (probably only) sneakers my mother put on me as a toddler were Reeboks.
What was the earliest memory you remember about collecting sneakers?
Shanley: My earliest, most prominent, memory (sorry if you’ve heard it before) is from 2001. My older sister had surprised me with the Columbia 11’s to match hers. I was so hyped, they just looked so clean to me (still do). But get this, when my mom saw them, she made my sister return them. I was so upset at the time; all my fly, 4th grade, dreams crushed instantly.
What’s your favorite sneaker in your collection?
Shanley: Hahaha, it’s too difficult to just choose one! Honestly, I like to wear my sneakers and, for me, each sneaker has its own space or event where it will be required. It’s really impossible for me to choose because I be feeling like Jay-Z in the ‘Excuse Me Miss’ video where he has a car for everyday of the week – except SNEAKERS.
What sneaker is missing from your collection?
Shanley: One pair that’s missing from my collection is the Skunk SBs, and I only say those because I missed out on such a great opportunity for them!
Any sneaker stories you wanna share?
Shanley: Not so much a story, but more so a reminder to check the weather before going out for a release. I know that might sound funny, but no umbrella, while in the rain, waiting on a line outside sucks.
Which sneaker in the future are you looking forward to copping?
Shanley: Honestly, at this rate, anything that I actually hit on a raffle. Some City Market Dunks might be nice.
Which brand in your opinion is killing it?
Shanley: Nike comes to my head first, but only because they drop something new like everyday. But, shoutout to Reebok on those Margiela and Cardi B collabs, Adidas with Beyoncé’s Icy Park, Converse with those Concepts and Carhartt collabs, New Balance with their quality, and all the brands that give actual people a chance to represent the community they’re from!
Which women in the industry do you recognize
Shanley: When it comes to women in the industry, I recognize all of them, especially the ones that are supporting and impacting the community in a positive way. There is a lane for all of us, especially when it’s genuine.
If you had the chance to address these footwear brands, what would you want them to know
Shanley: REPRESENTATION, DIVERSITY, INCLUSIVITY, EQUITY, POSITIVITY (and small sizes) MATTER- especially when you are genuine about it.