Basketball star LeBron James is teaming with designer Mimi Plange for the upcoming LeBron 18 Low, making this Plange’s first sneaker design collaboration and James’s second female design collaboration after the Harlem Fashion Row x LeBron 16 sneaker in 2018.
Having been born in Ghana and moving to the United States at a young age, designer Mimi Plange quickly learned the diverse nature of the world and its cultures. After close encounters with assorted groups of people, she discovered that these segmented clusters share a ubiquitous experience with different cultural backgrounds. These notions led her launching her self-named brand in 2010 along with Ibrahim Ndoye, honing inspiration from the cultural melting pot surrounding her. Since the brand’s launch, Mimi Plange’s “unfashion” apparel has landed on some of the biggest names including Rihanna, Michelle Obama, and Serena Williams. Not to mention, the brand has scooped up honorable recognitions including Mercedes Benz Fashion 2012’s Designer of the Year and former mayor of New York Mike Bloomberg’s Design Entrepreneurs Award.
For this collaboration with LeBron James, Mimi Plange will be presenting a four-part collection of the LeBron 18 Low which will illustrate Plange’s view of diversity complete with aspects of her African background. Additionally, the collection will capture the numerous facets of LeBron James himself as he is recognized globally as a family man, philanthropist, celebrity and so much more.
The first part, or colorway, of the Lebron 18 Low will be called “Higher Learning”, drawing inspiration from the classic letterman jacket to symbolize the ideas of sport and school. Having learned about cultural groups and the American experience thoroughly in high school, she went with a focus on the varsity jacket because of the garment’s status symbol and the various stories it carries based on the time spent in high school. Additionally, it is no secret that LeBron James is a huge champion for education. His LeBron James Family Foundation is dedicated to supplying the youth in his hometown of Akron, Ohio with tools and resources for education. Under the very organization, he has opened the I Promise School, a public elementary school, in his native city.
The varsity nature of the shoe is clearly felt throughout with its intricate details and color choices. The sneaker’s main colors of burgundy and mustard ooze of the ultimate collegiate vibes complete with stripes that typically accompany varsity jackets. Other striking details include the lion mascot on the heel and the basketball and Akron patches.
While the other three colorways will be releasing throughout the remainder of the year, the LeBron 18 Low “Higher Learning” drops on Mimi Plange’s website, SNKRs and select retailers for $170 on Wednesday, June 2 at 10AM EST.
Art Director/stylist: @staceyjjones
Model: @somaliaknight @eugon_mcneil