Nike’s second woman of color designer, Cheresse Thornhill, displays her work alongside local sneakerheads.
Sneakers have played an important role in African American culture,” says Cheresse Thornhill, the second woman of color to design footwear for Nike. Catch Thornhill’s iconic designs and others at The Carr Center’s latest exhibition, GRAILS: The Sole and Black Culture, on display through April 9.
“From Run DMC coming out with their anthem ‘My Adidas’ to having a legend like Michael Jordan become a symbol of success, across the world, every kid wants the perfect pair,” she says.
Along with Thornhill’s works – like the 16.5 Dwayne Wade PE, worn by the NBA legend on the court – browse classic pairs on loan from local collectors like Jason Johnson, owner of Bob’s Classic Kicks, and enjoy multimedia presentations and personal love stories from enthusiasts. The term “grails,” as in the holy grail, has been adopted by sneakerheads as slang for that pair – elusive and, if possessed, coveted with intense reverence.