'She Kicks' Continues To Champion Women In Sneakers

December 09, 2022 by Joey Birch

'She Kicks' Continues To Champion Women In Sneakers

As we move ever closer to 2023, we begin to reflect on the past year and the year ahead including reviewing our top sneakers from the past 12 months. However, while on the discussion of the sneaker industry, a more pertinent topic needs to be explored - has the sneaker industry become less gender bound? In essence: how has the sneaker industry, and in turn, those within it, worked to include all genders?

It’s no secret that the culture surrounding sneakers is geared towards men. "The sneaker industry is built on this gender disparity," Angelee Kholia told POPSUGAR in a 2021 article, "it has always been geared more toward men, from separate drops to more media coverage on men's content. While there is a big call for change, there is still a long way to go in order for brands to become more inclusive."


Artwork by Titi Finlay

So, has 2022 seen a shift towards further inclusivity? Throughout the year, platforms that promote and support women in the sneaker industry have been garnering a bigger platform than ever thanks to the likes of Women In Sneakers, and Herstory In Sneakers in addition individuals like Titi Finlay, Ayshe Zaifoglu (AKA AZ) and many more who are creating exceptional work, promoting the message of sneaker equality on the mainstage going onto work on exciting projects with brands including Nike.

Furthering this message are Sanne Poeze and Navneet Gill, the founders behind the recently released book titled ‘She Kicks’ which focuses on women in the industry. 

"We actually had our initial idea for what would eventually become this book around 4 years ago!" Nav tells Kick Game, "We booked ourselves into an Air BnB in a small town in Holland for a long weekend to plan the outline, the ‘dream’ people we’d love to interview and feature in it, and the kinds of products and stories we felt were important to share. It wasn’t til around a year later that we actually ended up connecting with Studio 96, our publisher and that’s when the ball really got rolling; although this was also just as the pandemic was starting to take hold and so the entire book was actually created over (so many!) Zoom calls and remote design/editing sessions as I’m based in London, Sanne is in Amsterdam and Studio 96 are in NYC"

And so, the ‘She Kicks’ book was born. Featuring over 40 interviews with various industry figures as well as touching on a variety of other topics and discussion points around the female contribution to the culture. The objective and motivations behind the project were always clear from the very start. When asked about their incentive behind launching their over 200-page book, Nav describes:

"The motive behind it was simple: we wanted to create a book that we wanted to read, and to share the nuances of sneaker culture and the industry from a perspective that’s long been overlooked."

To turn their idea into reality, the co-founders partnered with the publishing house Studio 96, a New York-based publisher of a range of immersive coffee table books that are not only incredibly well-made but also implement usually unseen technology to elevate the reading experience. As displayed in their previous two projects, the reader has the ability to use the Studio 96 app to scan the pages, bringing them to life as well as gaining exclusive access to sneaker drops and releases. "this book can actually live on beyond the traditional lifespan of print", comments Nav. 

When discussing the impact of the book, Nav said:

"I hope the book goes to show women who are interested in getting into the sneaker industry, that there is absolutely a place for them to carve out their own path within it. It’s really hard to imagine yourself in places where you don’t see other people who look like you, or have a similar background to you, thriving. I really want this book to be a strong, positive example of some of the incredible achievements women in their own careers and how they’ve shaped global sneaker culture as a whole, so it empowers other women to get out there and claim their own seat at the table too."

As we proceed into 2023, the discussion and empowerment of women in the sneaker industry can only grow stronger. While is still a lot of work to be done, the roll is almost certainly rolling at a positive pace. 

"We’ve had such a great response to it not just from women in the culture and the industry, but people with a broader interest in fashion and sneakers and even people who didn’t necessarily have a strong interest in either before," Nav tells us when discussing the lessons learnt following the release, "I think it goes to show that our work here is not done; it’s been amazing to be able to curate a tangible product that compiles the stories of female experiences in the industry as well as women’s-centric sneaker over the years but there are so many more stories to be told—and clearly people are ready and willing to hear them."

Promoting equality within the sneaker industry is imperative, and opening the discussion up further is a feat that She Kicks does perfectly. What promises to be the first of many, the book is available now to buy here

For interviews, the latest news and rumoured releases, keep it Kick Game