My name is Gabriella Davi-Khorasanee and I’m the co-founder and Executive Editor of M.I.S.S. and the founder of one of the leading women’s streetewear brands, Mama. I’ve designed sneakers, for consumers and athletes, and been featured on sneaker websites and magazines, from Sneaker Freaker to Kix And The City, and know a little bit about what women want when it comes to a pair of kicks. I am also an avid consumer of sneakers and of my over 100 pairs, I would say 90% are Nike. I love the brand, and some of your silhouettes, including the Cortez, Air Max 97 and Dunk High, are at the top of my all-time list. Unfortunately, I feel the need to write this letter because I am concerned that the direction of your designs and conceptions of the women’s market are fatally flawed. You are making some big mistakes in your design and I believe there are some misconceptions in Portland on what women want.
I think it was last year or the year before when I first heard about a “Zen” Air Max 97 – a “feminized” slimmer version of the Air Max 97 for women. I have since stopped buying women’s Air Max 97s and can only cross my fingers to find boy’s size 5 as my only option for the original Air Max 97 silhouette. I was disappointed yesterday when I learned on HighSnobiety that you were making a “slimmer” version of the Dunk High. It now looks like I’ll have to stop buying Nike Women’s Dunk Highs. I don’t know who told you that this was a good idea, but I fear that your focus group or tastemakers may be leading you astray. Here’s a little something about women that you should know: Women have many, many, options when it comes to footwear. Sneakers are only 1 of many options to choose from to achieve 1 of countless possible looks. We wear sneakers to be casual, sporty, and stylish. If we’re going for a more feminine look, we don’t wear sneakers. We wear ballet flats or stilettos or boots or any one of the dozens of different “ladies” shoes. Stop trying to make the sneaker something that it isn’t. It’s a sneaker, trainer, kick – whatever you can to call it – embrace what it is – and give your customers what they want.
Your loyal but extremely disappointed customer,
Gabriella A. Davi-Khorasanee
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