Members of froSkatean organization dedicated to creating safe spaces for BIPOC queer skateboardersrecently became the first Black women to design a colorful sneaker with Nike SB, and the shoe was recently released.
Two of froSkate's leaders, Karlie Thornton and L Brew, worked with Nike SB (which offers skateboarding shoes) for more than a year and a half to create a shoe that's a "celebration of those who haven't always felt seen."
"We are changing the narrative of what it means to be a 'real skater,' amplifying those of all skill levels to broaden visibility beyond the pros we typically see," said Brew, froSkate's vice president. "And this Dunk is another example of how we're changing the status quo."
Thornton founded froSkate in 2019 in order to provide a much-needed space for skaters who don't fit into the traditional skate-community.
Since then, froSkate has grown from a crowd of friends who enjoyed skating together into an organization that's hosted more than 80 events and brought hundreds of people together.
Everyone is welcome at the froSkate meetups, but the group centers BIPOC, queer and gender-non-conforming femmes while encouraging skaters of all skill levels.
"It was just that the community really needed this kind of space," Thornton said. "I started to skate in 2019 and really just wanted friends and people who looked like me to skate with, so that I didn't feel alone or uncomfortable being the only girl."
Thornton said she enjoyed working with Nike SB to make the shoe a reality and that it was exciting to see froSkate's vision for the shoe mesh with the expertise of the seasoned designers at Nike SB.
"The design team did a really great job helping us hone in on what the shoe would look like," said Thornton, froSkate's president. "We worked together to merge our mission with the look of the shoe. They really helped us figure out how to do this because it's not like any of us designed a shoe before but they've designed hundreds."
Nike SB released froSkate's "All Love. No Hate" Dunk High shoe Aug. 13; it can be purchased in stores and online.
"It feels incredibly surreal," Thornton said. "It's just awesome to see folks rocking our shoes. They look so good on feet, and when you're skating, they really pop and give an outfit so much personality."
The advertisements for the shoe feature skaters of all different abilities and identities. When designing the shoe and its surrounding campaign, Thornton and Brew tried to "be as gender-inclusive as possible while still putting that call out to get more women involved in skateboarding," Thornton said.
"We tried to speak to all of that through our shoe, through the colors, through the 'all love, no hate' motto," Thornton said. "It's just what skate boarding's about, the love you have for it and the community you find through it. It's not a place for hate."
To learn more about froSkate, visit www.froskate.com .
To locate a store where you can buy the "All Love. No Hate" Dunk High, visit www.nikesb.com/shops and www.nikesb.com/the-vault/striped-box-era/froskate.