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Sneaker drop: December 2019

On empowering your friends and colleagues:
co-author of Work Wife
"The most empowering thing we do is to give each other space to be our real selves. [Co-author Erica Cerulo and I] don’t feel like we have to cut some part of our personalities out of our working relationship. That’s what’s so wonderful about allowing friendship into the business and working space."
On high-performance living:
member of the American Ballet Theatre
“I realized at a young age that [ballet] was a career path that I was destined for and in order to create that, I had to do all the proper cross-training, all the proper nutrition, I didn't want to go out at night, I didn't want to drink. It wasn't hard for me, it was just something that I knew. Seeing how successful it made me and how much easier it made my job, I wanted to continue with that.”
On making passion your career:
elite runner and winner of the 2018 Boston Marathon
"When I started running, I was like, I’m only going to do this if I’m having fun. It’s way too much work if I don’t enjoy it and there are so many other things I can do. I really like competing. When that goes away I’ll hang up and I’ll be really content with my career."
On being true to your values:
co-founder of ADAY
"The lesson is to really not lose sight of your vision. At the beginning, there weren't a lot of people speaking our language on having a sustainability focus or styling wardrobes [in the way we wanted to]. It really feels like the world has shifted to echo the ethos we believe in. It was important not to be swept up in trends in the early days."
On battling the stigma of disease:
group fitness instructor at Equinox locations in LA
“People think cancer equals death, but it doesn’t anymore. I’ve been very open about my experiences...The less stigmatized the disease is, the more we can confront it with strength and knowledge instead of fear."
On finding balance in life:
chef/owner at EAT KBC in Dothan, Alabama and winner of Top Chef Season 16
"Chefs are obsessive and want to control things, and when we can’t control things, we pick something to control. I’ve always been uber concerned with my health and my weight and, full disclosure, I had an eating disorder when I was in New York. I decided that I didn’t want to be obsessed with my body. Instead of thinking ‘How do I look?’ I’m now invested in ‘How can I be more healthy? How can I have more energy?’ For me, balance is important. That’s my biggest focus: How I can feel the healthiest all the time?"
On using fitness to deal with emotional pain:
group fitness instructor at Equinox Locations in New York City
"Once I was diagnosed [with cancer], I couldn’t sleep. I was angry and sad. After one week, I thought, I’m a martial artist. (I’m a black belt in karate.) I have to pull out my secret weapons and inner strength. I never wanted to walk into my safe place, the fitness studio, the place where I tell others to be strong, and break down. During the three weeks between diagnosis and surgery, I was like a gladiator walking into the coliseum every time I taught class."
On design for women by women:
founder, CEO, and creative director of Marion Parke
"Shoes are typically designed by men not women, but it’s women who have to think practically about functioning in them. The ethos of [Marion Parke] is to empower women, so they can be their composed, confident selves without being distracted by an aching foot or an uncomfortable shoe."
On using the internet as an equalizer:
senior writer at ESPN
"If you have good content, there’s no barrier online. It’s the great equalizer. Having a place where we can prove ourselves and share our insight allows us to get those traditional roles which were once reserved for men."

Prada Collision 19

The Italian luxury label is stuck in the future of sneakers. 3D elements sculpt the Prada Collision which sits atop an air-cushioned sole, a nod to Nike’s Air Max technology. Grab your pair now.

Versace Chain Reaction “Jungle Print”

In 2000, Jennifer Lopez shut down the Grammy Awards’ red carpet in a stunning Versace dress and now the dress became one of the best sneakers of the year. Quickly selling out during its initial launch over the summer, it’s back for those who may have missed out. 

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Yeezy Slides

You might have the sneakers in various colors as well as the boots. Kanye West now enters the rubberized slides market, inspired by the popularity of Crocs. They arrive in three different colors and are available now for adults, children, and infants alike.

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Concepts x Birkenstock

Variety in your footwear rotation is key in the ever expanding space of sneaker culture. Concepts delivers the perfect Birkenstock pair for your holiday needs and beyond as the shoes better with age. 

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Nike Dunk Low “Viotech” 2019 Retro

The pioneer of multi-color sneakers that originally released in 2002 is back. Previously worn and made iconic by the late actor Robin Williams, the “Viotech” dunk is a staple for sneakerheads. Get them December 10 at 10 a.m. EST via the Nike SNKRS app before they sell out.

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Air Jordan 11 “Bred”

Michael Jordan winning the 1996 NBA Championship with the Bulls began a 23-year-long affinity for the black and red patent leather sneakers. Bred 11s are a holiday tradition, but its original packaging returns for the first time this year. Get your pair on December 14 via the Nike SNKRS app.

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Dior Air Jordan 1 

Luxury and sportswear have reached a new high with Kim Jones and Dior teaming up with Michael Jordan. Made of Italian leather, the Air Jordan 1 wears a classic Dior monogram swoosh coupled with translucent soles that read DIOR. If there’s one shoe to add to your special wish list, this is it. Although slated for an April 2020 release, your secret Santa can secure your pair now via StockX.

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MEET THE WRITER

RAY POLANCO JR

Ray Polanco Jr. is a Bronx native and LA-based digital storyteller, brand consultant, and mentor to young creatives. He’s worked with artists such as Nas, Kendrick Lamar, and Skrillex and companies including Nike, adidas, and Converse. Keep up with his adventures on Instagram: @RayPolancoJr.
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