by Tia Alphonse
Issa Rae is set to launch a line of shoes with Converse on Thursday, July 1. Her production company Hoorae announced the partnership Wednesday on its Twitter account using the new fleet format.
Rae, who has a reputation for being outspoken and uplifting the Black community, chose to root her footwear in affirmations that she frequently tells herself during the creative process. Sayings like “stay grounded” and “take up more space” are potential text for the shoe.
Rae worked with LA-based graphic designer Nicky Chulo, who also serves as the art director at her radio label, to produce a fully customizable shoe design for the Converse Chuck 70. They acknowledge their love “Los Angeles” motto with the heel graphic of a palm tree.
It wouldn’t be an Issa Rae project if she didn’t incorporate her hometown in some fashion. In her hit show, “Insecure,” she pushed for the show to be set in LA and to highlight the places that she grew up.
Although the product is created by Issa, customers ultimately decide what features they want on the final product. The Issa Rae by You design allows customers to select from various colors and choose which affirmations they want.
This collaboration is a continuation of Rae’s relationship with the Converse footwear giant. In the past, Rae has worked with the Converse All-Star program. She served as a writing mentor for the program’s All-Star series film that was released in September 2020.
According to Converse, the program is an “ongoing experience of one-of-a-kind workshops, conversations and performances made for All Stars” that connects creatives to products and opportunities for mentorship and commissions.
With this collection, Rae combines her love of mentorship and community engagement as she motivates creatives to reach their dreams through words of affirmation.
Her custom shoe design will be available on Converse’s website for $115 at its launch 10 a.m. ET Wednesday