In an effort to recognize both female artists and the diversity that exists within the U.S., Adidas and Refinery29 have partnered up to create the new “BOOST the Nation” collection, a limited edition sneaker line made for women, by women.
Although it’s not often that the worlds of art and sport coexist, this collection manages to combine the two in an eye-popping way. Artists chosen by Refinery29 used acrylic paint, sand, thread, beads, clay, and more to bring their designs to life. Inspired by culture, landmarks, and landscapes, each of the one-of-a-kind sneaker pairs was made to represent each state.
As a parallel to the individuality found within the nation, each artist has her own specialty and story.
Chemist-turned-artist Mari Orr, who designed the sneakers inspired by Maryland, Iowa, Alaska, Nebraska, and South Dakota, said in the project’s press release, “We can find beauty despite diversity and, more importantly, because of diversity, from shorelines to glaciers, from farmland to mountaintop to prairie. If everything was the same, nothing would be remarkable.”
Indeed, the shoes reflect the uniqueness of the nation in their design, ranging from the subtle sun-drenched color scheme of Arizona to New Jersey’s sneaker, which looks exactly like a slice of pizza. But no matter how extreme the design, all of the shoes are completely functional — albeit rare.
In another first, Adidas and Refinery29 are holding a digital silent auction for each pair. Through July 11, users can bid on their favorite pair. There’s only one available for each state, so for those who happen to win, they’ll want to take good care of them. For instance, using leather polish for shoes made of animal hide or shoe trees for any kind of footwear can increase their lifespan by up to 10 times.
All proceeds from the auction will be donated to Women Win, an organization that addresses gender equity in sports and encourages young girls to build leadership skills. Website visitors can also donate and support Women Win without bidding on the sneakers.
Hallie Johnston from Refinery29 summed up the collaboration and overall message of the campaign:
“We believe strongly in the power of art and design to incite meaningful conversation and inspire change, so partnering with adidas to launch the BOOST the Nation custom sneaker auction was a natural fit. The custom sneakers designed for women by women celebrate the diversity and creativity of this country, while intersecting sport and art in a unique and shareable way.”