Here at Pretty Phresh, we thrive ourselves on keeping women updated with the latest in the streetwear and sneaker industry as well introducing them to creative female figures who are pushing for inclusivity, diversity and overall change in the specified areas. With that being said, we would like to introduce you to our latest feature: Keep It Phresh. Keep it Phresh is our newest series that taps female creatives involved in the streetwear and sneaker industry. Through the series, these women will share their areas of expertise, provide advice and overall inspiration to our growing community of women. Keep it Phresh will premier on the first Friday of every month on both our Instagram and site.
For our very first guest, we decided to tap a woman who is changing how women access sneakers in the world that is immensely dominated by bots, resellers and other obstacles: Christina K. Hailing from Maryland, Christina K. is the vision behind the platform known as “If I Can’t Wear SNKRS”. Birthed after assisting another woman with a sneaker release, If I Can’t Wear SNKRS provides women with exclusive content to sneaker release information on a global scale. She recognized women’s everyday struggle of attempting to cop sneakers at retail, operating the page privately through Instagram and only granting access to women.
We sat down with Christina K. to talk about what prompted her to creating If I Can’t Wear SNKRS, thoughts toward the state of the sneaker industry and tips on how to cop sneakers in today’s digital culture:
What influenced you to create the ‘If I Can’t Wear SNKRS” private page for women?
“If I Can’t Wear SNKRS” was created as a way of paying it forward after receiving an amazing opportunity to purchase the Jordan OG Melody Ehsani. The Jordan OG’s were supposed to be released at both Melody Ehsani store locations but during that time it was the beginning of the global shutdown due to COVID, so it was cancelled. She moved the release to her website and unfortunately, the bots snatched that inventory again. Her and her team cancelled 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 who I didn’t know before that day on Twitter about our common love of Melody Ehsani.
That’s when Melody Ehsani announced more release information on Instagram. I kept this young woman up to date about the fast-moving release information. 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 screen shot 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 Cant Wear SNKRS’ (@If_I_Cant_Wear_SNKRS).
To keep up the good karma, to help more women cop sneakers by providing sneaker drop information, and to give more women knowledge about the sneaker game with hopes of them successfully coppin sneakers for retail. I made the decision to make my page private because I wanted to create a safe space for women. If you go on these popular Instagram websites dedicated to sneakers you usually see men dominate the conversations and when women jump in, they’re treated horribly.”
What’s your favorite sneaker in your rotation right now?
“My favorite sneakers is the Nike SB Blazer “Varsity Purple”. I’ve looked for these shoes for over 12 years and now that they’re in my possession I keep wearing them.”
Who are some female figures you look up to?
“Some female figures I look up to (in the sneaker community) are Vashtie Kola, Melody Ehsani, Jazerai Allen-Lord, Olivia Kim, Abby Albino & Shelby Weaver, and Rio Holland & Bethany Haggarty.”
What are your thoughts and feelings toward the sneaker industry as it is today?
“There are aspects of the sneaker industry I love and hate. I love the fact that we are seeing more women in powerful positions within the sneaker community. Whether its store owners, designers, collaborators, engineers, color designers, marketing. I also love the fact that women in the sneaker community are making their voices heard on different social media platforms.
What I hate is how women of color are underserved and rarely highlighted (unless you have a certain look) in the sneaker community. Also, I feel like brands need inclusive sneaker sizing so whether you have small or large feet you can get the shoe you want without the shoe quality lacking. And of course I hate bots, resellers, shops who backdoor their stock. All of those things suck the life out of the sneaker community. If more websites and brands step up their security systems and rethink their release process for hyped sneaker drops, things would change for the better.”
What are some tips you have for the ladies trying to cop hyped/popular releases?
1. Never let the SNKRS app be your first and only website of choice
2. Know your stores and websites! There’s levels to this, starting with with what I call the foundation. Those are stores and websites like Footlocker, Finishline, Champs, etc. A tier up from that are your boutique sneaker stores that you may not hear that much about but may be a local favorite. A tier up from that are the international websites that deliver worldwide. Ive had a crazy amount of luck on websites in the UK.
3. Avoid websites with “waiting rooms”
4. Never pay resell for a shoe that will restock multiple times.
5. Don’t sleep on eBay
6. Follow @If_I_Cant_Wear_SNKRS for more tips, tricks, and worldwide sneaker drop information.
What does it mean to be “Pretty Phresh” to you?
“To be “Pretty Phresh” means to be unapologetically you.”
Ladies, be sure to follow @If_I_Cant_Wear_SNKRS on Instagram for daily sneaker release information and stay tuned for our next Keep It Phresh feature on Friday, June 4th!