Kim Jayde Off-White™ Air Jordan 4 Sail Sole Mates

Today, Kim Jayde stands as the Marketing Director of Sneaker District South Africa. Having recently celebrated the grand opening of the store, Jayde’s commitment to stepping out of her comfort zone has earned her the place she holds today as one of the proud representatives of her region in the sneaker world.

Coming from Bulawayo, a small town in Zimbabwe, Jayde’s love of sneakers has blossomed along with her professional career. A former MTV Base VJ and fashion blogger, she established herself as part of the scene by creating sneaker content and founding her own production house. Throughout this journey, her kicks spoke to him as an opportunity to express himself. She shared with us that in South Africa, “a lot of celebrities prefer fancy dresses, knitting, nails, etc. and I said yes, I’m going to do my sneakers and do it my way.”

In this issue of Hypebeast’s sole partnersKim Jayde talks about her love of the Air Jordan 4, the growing interest in women in the industry, the history of sneakers in South Africa, and her work with Sneaker District South Africa.

Hypebeast: What sparked your interest in sneakers?

Kim Jayde: I come from Zimbabwe where I grew up very traditional: the ladies wear dresses and heels and the boys wear tennis shoes and shorts. After joining MTV Base as a VJ, I started traveling the world and connecting with artists, often rappers, and being exposed to all of these people and cultures, which was eye opening. That tangentially got me into the world of sneakers, but it was the first shoe that I was planted by a brand that had me hooked for life.

What is the story behind that pair?

I will never forget. They were the FENTY x PUMA Bow sneakers and when they arrived I cried and I remember thinking “they are so expensive and amazing and Rihanna is a goddess!”.

How many shoes do you have now?

Definitely over a hundred. At one point, I got closer to 200 pairs and realized that it was too much and there are actually people who really need kicks. I worked with the Special Olympics South Africa and was able to share 60 pairs of shoes, a fitting way to pass on what I call my “babies.”

How did you create your sneaker collection?

Like many, the Air Jordan 1 was my first love. One day, I walked into a store and an associate recognized me and asked if I was there for delivery. I hesitated, but said yes (I didn’t know what would be released that day) and that it was the Air Jordan 1 High “Satin Black Toe”. After I started using 1, people started coming up and offering pairs. Before I knew it, I was monitoring pitches and importing kicks from all over the world that no one else in South Africa had.

“Cigarettes come with a warning, sneakers don’t.”

It’s easy to get carried away quickly.

So fast! Cigarettes come with a warning, sneakers don’t.

Was this your first pair of Air Jordan 4s?

This Off-White™ collaboration was my first pair, it got me into the silhouette and besides being eye-catching, I love that it doesn’t crease.

How did you get the Off-White™ x Air Jordan 4 “Sail”?

After leaving MTV and starting my own production house, I wanted to immerse myself more in sneaker culture. I started the YouTube series “Kickin’ It With Kim Jayde” where I interviewed sneaker fans from South Africa and celebrities from around the world. By the end of my first season, I was able to bond with DJ Clark Kent. We kept in touch afterwards and when the Off-White™ x Air Jordan 4 “Sail” release came around and it wasn’t launching in Africa, I had to contact him. He was very nice and he said that he would put me on “The List”. Thanks to him, I paid retail, which is crazy to me. To think that a girl from Zimbabwe could hook up with one of the greatest hip-hop DJs of all time to get her hands on sneakers, all thanks to social media, how awesome is that?

What would a Kim Jayde x Air Jordan 4 look like?

It would have to be a color combination that is easy to style, something in the neutrals with nudes and grays. I would also definitely include a reference to my home country of Zimbabwe. Not something as obvious as a flag, but subtle inclusions of color or a little design: a little nod to Africa to say: this is where I come from, we are here now.

Do you think Jordan Brand does a good job catering to women?

Traditionally, most of us women have felt that the guys get the drug drops. Now more than ever, men are complaining about not getting their size on women’s drops. It’s great that they take care of us and that more shoe brands have us in mind. Whether it’s producing products, creating women-focused social channels, whatever. I appreciate it because I feel like we were left out for a long time.

“[Sneaker culture] he sees no color, gender, or race. If your feet are hot, respect it”.

Can you tell us more about South African sneaker culture?

The impact of apartheid and financial struggles at the time drew many to Converse because of its affordability. As a result, it is South African footwear in a way and has an important history in this country. Today, thanks to globalization and social media, anything goes. There’s a beauty in how we see everyone wearing whatever they want. Sneaker culture knows no borders. He sees no color, gender, or race. If you have hot feet, respect.

You just celebrated the opening of Sneaker District South Africa. What makes the store stand out from the scene there?

Since the height of the pandemic, getting someone out of the house to buy something is a challenge. What we at Sneaker District are doing, as they have done in Abu Dhabi, is creating an experiential store. We have a full-time personalization area with artists who can paint your shoes any day of the week, as well as offer hot press for garment personalization. Beyond that, Red Bull created a 3v3 basketball court and bar, while a Crep laundry setup is also available. We offer brands from around the world while providing an amazing experience and building a community for young creators and sneaker fans.

What sneaker brand is emerging right now?

Reebok is going to make a massive comeback. As someone involved with shopping at Sneaker District, I’m on the lookout for next year’s products and it’s fire.

They let a sneakerhead walk into the boardroom, this shit will never be the same again.

What is it like to look at the products ahead of time?

It is absolute heaven. When I joined Sneaker District, I said “they let a sneakerhead in the boardroom, this shit will never be the same again.” Creatives and artists who are culture freaks never make it to the boardroom where they make the decisions. Decide things like which influencers to involve, how we speak to the market with our brand, what is the message that we are going to present, etc. It’s an absolute honor, I feel like a kid in a candy store. Whenever our buyers meet brands, I have to be there.

What do the shoes mean to you?

They are a form of self-expression and empower me to be myself. Going to events and seeing all the other women in stilettos, my kicks allow me to be different and go against the grain.

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