Limited edition sneakers inspired by Jade Macpepple-Jaja’s experience as a black woman in London
A Coventry University law graduate has designed a pair of Nike trainers which she hopes will be a “catalyst for conversations” around diversity and inclusion within the legal profession.
Aspiring lawyer and fashion blogger Jade Macpepple-Jaja created the limited-edition shoes through the ‘Nike By You Workshop’, a programme which selected 20 guest-designers to customise their own versions of the Nike Air Max 90 & Air Max 95.
After successfully applying for the exclusive workshop in March, Macpepple-Jaja crafted her footwear using Nike’s online studio. “As it was done virtually, we could only go by what we could see and the descriptions of the fabric, and therefore I tried to keep my design as simple as possible,” she told Legal Cheek.
Opting for the Nike Air Max 95, Macpepple-Jaja’s trainers feature minimalist nude tones contrasted against the striking black shoe tongue.
While Macpepple-Jaja made the sneakers to be “both stylish and wearable”, she also hopes they can be a “catalyst for conversations” around diversity and inclusion, which have already been sparked recently through the global Black Lives Matter Movement.
Macpepple-Jaja, who has just finished the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at The University of Law, said:
“The sneaker drop has been a way to allow us as the designers to showcase our Unseen London and my London is all about being myself. A bold black woman from South London pursuing a professional career despite the odds stacked against me and the setbacks I have faced. My goal is to showcase that my sex, appearance, skin colour and personal style should not be a barrier as a young professional and creative in London.”
This message is reflected by her sneakers’ name, ‘INC.’, which is short for inclusion. “I knew I wanted the sneaker to represent what I passionate about and that is getting equal opportunities and further inclusivity in the legal and creative industry,” explained Macpepple-Jaja, who previously paralegalled at Wiggin.
The name also refers to ‘inc’, a term used to abbreviate the incorporation of business — vocab no doubt familiar to commercial law students. She added: “I felt this was a suitable name and a good play on words!”
Despite her passion for fashion, Macpepple-Jaja is “sticking to her legal roots” and is determined to become a lawyer practising in media and technology law, specialising particularly in marketing and advertising.
Helping her get there are the transferrable skills she’s picked up through the workshop and as an active Instagram-influencer. “As someone who uses social media as a business, I have been managing and negotiating all my contracts with brands and clients,” said Macpepple-Jaja, who has over 8,300 Instagram followers. She continued:
“With the sneaker, I curated and organised the whole shoot and led a team which further developed my organisational skills, leadership skills and my ability to work in a team.”
Officially dropping today, these customised kicks cost £154.95. Only 350 pairs will be available to purchase online for 10 days, so “once they’re gone, they’re gone,” said Macpepple-Jaja.