Sunday, March 9, 2008

Mama interview with FSF

We know there's quite a buzz about the ProMamas, judging from all the competition entries we've gotten already! Keep 'em coming... (If you don't know about your chance to win free ProMamas, click here.) Since folks are feeling them (and so are we), FSF went right to the source to get the scoop on their design. Gabriella Davi-Khorasanee, aka "Mama herself", was cool enough to take some time to talk...

Not too many women get a signature sneaker! Since Day 1 you've been about supporting and respecting women, can you tell us how you think this sneaker represents that?

Thanks Lori! I wanted to design a shoe that was feminine for the ladies to rock without being too girly. My problem with a lot of ladies’ shoes these days is that the color ways they come in are pink, baby blue, etc., and I felt that using those colors play into stereotypes of women as children. I wanted to create something grown & sexy for adult ladies.

Most performance basketball shoes are targeted at men. What made you decide to take a performance high top and juice it up with some fashion?

Whenever I approach a Mama design project I try to challenge myself to create something that I have never seen before. I could have chosen a running shoe or a low-profile shoe but that’s not what I wear. I thought it would be a great design challenge to take something made for performance but give it a fashion twist.

Walk us through the details on the ProMama. Where did your inspirations come from? What parts of you are hidden in there?

I really wanted the shoe to represent Mama as a brand so I went with a lot of the themes that surface in the Mama branding. I went with the black and white colorway because that’s my favorite color combo, and it’s simple, clean, and wearable. Regarding materials, I took inspiration from some of our classic clothing silhouettes like our quilted hoodies. I decided to change the quilt pattern to hearts because hearts play a big role in our branding. Then I opted for 3M and black patent to jazz it up a little, but I kept it tonal so that it would be subtle. I added a Mama Nameplate lacelock because I had never seen anyone do a lacelock in a nameplate style, and that was always the most obvious to me. And those who’ve followed the Mama brand know that the nameplate was used in our very first ads. Finally, there’s the insole which has our Mama lace printed on it with the words “Always A Lady”, both recurring Mama motifs.

If I can beat you 1-on-1, can I get a pair? Okay, more seriously, are/were you a basketball player? If not, what drew you to the Pro Model?

Hahaha. I’m under 5 feet tall, so there isn’t much basketball playing on my end. That said, I love wearing high tops, especially basketball silhouettes, and when choosing the shoe I wanted to design something that I would rock. I loved that the Pro Model had a shell-toe which harkens back to the history of adidas. And the name Pro Model lent itself really well to branding it as the “Pro Mama”, which adidas very generously let us do.

Thanks Mama! Keep up the great work.

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