Many new hashtag challenges have been surfacing within the sneaker community. Dubbed as the “Jordans 1 On Head” challenge (#jordans1onhead), this challenge requires sneaker heads to really become…sneaker heads. Participants stack and balance 3-4 pairs of their favorite Air Jordan 1 sneakers on their head long enough to snap a quick pic. Many female sneaker lovers joined in the trending challenge and gained attention by platforms like Complex Sneakers, Nice Kicks, and Highsnobiety who reposted the women from the hashtag. However, Complex Sneakers was met with comments that you can’t help but question yourself. One commenter asked Complex Sneakers, “aren’t any black female sneaker heads out here??? Just saying…”
While streetwear and sneaker culture is starting to become more welcoming of women, most platforms tend to focus on a particular category of women: white or Caucasian women. This is not to say Black women aren’t posted on their platforms, they are just posted less than their white female counterparts. Black culture has posed as heavy influence on modern day streetwear as it often references facets of the hip hop scene and the everyday “aesthetic” of the Black woman. The popularization and urbanization of big brand names like Tommy Hilfiger and accessories like bamboo earrings all started within the Black community, specifically with Black women. While Black women have served as major players in the streetwear and sneaker circle, they continue to be an exceedingly underrepresented group in branding, advertising, and social networking/blogging.
The creators of #SistasCreatedSole: Quneshia (@qdaqueen), Mickii (@mickiikixx), Tameika (@meikmeik2001), Flower @sol3flower, Bree (@bgkicks), Flashy (@flashygrl1185), and Brianna (@lickmy_nikes), Kim (@mrs._.evans, not pictured), and Heather (@theyellowone87, not pictured)
Referring back to the commenter on Complex sneakers, the question may still stand for other sources and brands but we actually have an answer. Yes, there are Black female sneaker heads. In fact, there are many on Instagram and a few can be found under this hashtag, #sistascreatedsole. #SistasCreatedSole is a hashtag created by eight Black women by the names of Quneshia (@qdaqueen), Mickii (@mickiikixx), Tameika (@meikmeik2001), Flower @sol3flower, Bree (@bgkicks), Flashy (@flashygrl1185), and Brianna (@lickmy_nikes), Kim (@mrs._.evans), and Heather (@theyellowone87) who happen to be immense sneaker lovers. With over 1,000 posts, these women created the hashtag to show that Black women are claiming their rightful places as major contributors to sneaker culture. It largely promotes diversity and inclusion as a major need that the industry still struggles to incorporate in their companies.
We got the opportunity to chat with a few creators of the hashtag on what the hashtag means to them and this is what they said:
“#SistasCreatedSole is a movement for women in the sneaker culture to create a platform to raise awareness about women who are passionate in the sneaker community.”@flashygrl1185
“In recent years, Black women have proven to be one of the most active demographics in the sneaker community yet, still today the most underrepresented. Despite Black women’s buying power and consistent support for sneaker culture, there certainly seems to be a need for a platform strictly dedicated to the Black female sneaker collector. The political aspect of big brand sneaker companies and social media outlets still hasn’t necessarily translated to meeting our very explicit needs. Black women are ready to see a return on their investment, taking matters into our own hands. Women of color are ramping up their efforts to increase their representation and becoming very vocal about it, “We want to see us too”. Pushing forward with this movement, #SistasCreatedSole was birthed. An online hashtag platform with the mission to provide inclusion/diversity that highlights the visible and loud chorus of African American women that have been unfortunately left out of the narrative.”Bree (@bgkicks)
“What the #sistascreatedsole hashtag means to me, first is the default sisterhood that comes from our love of sneakers, but also the sisterhood that comes with representing black pride and our VERY IMPORTANT contribution to the sneaker culture. Without women, human kind would not exist, BUT ALSO, without black women, the cool would not exist.”Quneshia (@qdaqueen)
We love the #SistasCreatedSole hashtag because these women are making their voices heard while being unapologetically dope in the process. The hashtag also pays homage to the great contributions that Black women have made to the sneaker community and calls out the industry’s lack of diversity and representation. They want to see more of themselves on social media platforms and brands, so they are creating their own spaces until they see changes from these big companies.
Black women who have joined the movement: @lettaytellit, @its_hyped, @feetzntreatz, and @arie_lei_ (in order they appear on the slide)
If you are a Black woman who loves sneakers, follow and use #sistascreatedsole on your next sneaker post!