This started out as a soliloquy about the origins of #ChicksOnFire and it’s place in today’s sneaker culture in light of International Women’s Day. But as I got a paragraph into it, I came to the realization of how stupid the exercise was; that I would be mansplaining something that I didn’t create and don’t have any business defining. Instead, let’s take this time and space to say thank you on this day of solidarity with women and appreciation for all that they do and all they inspire.

Thank you to all the female sneakerheads and influencers who are shattering the notion that sneaker culture is a boy’s club. Follow your Megan Ann Wilsons, Jen Twices, and Anna Bediones‘ of the world because they drop knowledge and perspective that maybe some of you have never considered. Oh, and we didn’t forget a familiar name to Kicks On Fire fans the world over. We love you, Jazzy

Thank you to all the female designers who don’t adhere to the ill-fated “shrink it and pink it” vision and create of kicks that respects their audience. You should be just as familiar with names like Melody Ehsani, Sophia Chang, Tiffany Beers, Angie Dita, and Stella McCartney as you are the Tinker Hatfields of the world.

Thank you to all the females who work at all levels of the business, from store ownership to public relations to deciding what products go to market, you’re all important. I would totally name names, but the last thing I want is anybody to get hassled with emails asking to be put on seeding lists. That’s my job :p

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Thank you to all the female celebrities who are building legacies either by teaming up with established brands or creating their own path. They are not only changing perceptions, but inspiring the next generation of #ChicksOnFire to become our new designers and CEOs. From Rihanna with PUMA to Rita Ora with adidas to Alicia Keys with Reebok/Nike to the Beyoncés who have their own line to Gisele Bundchen’s record-breaking endorsement deal with Under Armour, the notion that men run this no longer applies.

Nike

Thank you to all the female athletes that are dispelling the notion that a GOAT title only applies to the duders of the world. Serena Williams is chasing history and making it impossible to follow her one major victory at a time; Maya Moore has achieved more in her short time as a pro than just about everybody on Jordan Brand’s roster not named Michael Jordan; Muslim athletes Sarah Attar and Amna Al Haddad worked with Nike on their upcoming Pro Hijab; Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg, and Amanda Nunes are UFC headliners; Misty Copeland earned a UA deal and stood up to the CEO when he endorsed President Orange Snowflake; if it weren’t Vince McMahon’s obsession with part-timers, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, and WWE Women’s Champion Bayley might be the Wrestlemania main event this April.

Thank you to my mom and my sisters. They’re not really into sneakers like I am, but they bought me kids as a kids and fostered my love for it. They’re just amazing.

It’s the slowest burn, but sneaker culture and society for women as a whole is getting better but it’s hard, painful, full of setbacks (see: President Orange Snowflake) and nowhere close to where it needs to be. But like a turtle said a few weeks ago, “Nevertheless, she persisted.”

The post #ChicksOnFire: A Thank You On International Women’s Day appeared first on KicksOnFire.com.

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