Jennifer Gray Designs First Alabama A&M-Themed Nike Shoe

Gray has become the first-ever AAMU shoe designer to collaborate with Nike after being selected as one of its 2023 Yardrunners.

Alabama A&M University alumna Jennifer Gray’s sneaker design has marked a historical moment for the Huntsville HBCU.

As part of Nike’s fourth Yardrunner campaign, Gray’s design was selected as one of the five HBCU designs added to the footwear brand’s “Terminator High” collection. According to Hville Blast, the design is the first Nike shoe inspired by AAMU.

“With tremendous honor, I am very grateful and elated to be the designer behind this project,” the electrical engineering graduate said. “Being the first-ever AAMU shoe designer who collaborated with Nike was a thrill.”

Nike’s website described the shoe as “proudly dressed in school colors.” The exterior of the sneaker features Medium Grey suede and Deep Maroon leather. The sneaker is finished with metallic gold and custom golden dog-bone dubraes that feature the university’s official mascot names “Bruiser” and “Butch.” AAMU’s Bulldogs logo is centered on the tongue label and a green leather heel tab “nods to the school’s agricultural heritage.” The high-top sneaker is completed with the HBCU’s motto, “Service Is Sovereignty,” printed on the insole as a salute to A&M values.

AAMU announced Nike’s pre-launch of Gray’s design on Nov. 15. In the announcement, the university shared details about City Gear’s launch of “a limited quantity of the intricately-designed Terminator High kicks” at its 2250 Sparkman Drive NW Huntsville location on Nov. 17. The event was to include special presentations, recognitions, and a performance by the AAMU Marching Maroon and White band.

The university’s official Instagram page also invited followers to drop their shoe sizes in the comments under a video of the design, for a chance to win a pair of the AAMU-themed Nikes.

As previously covered by BLACK ENTERPRISE, Nike announced the lineup of HBCUs in its Yardrunners 4.0 Class of 2023 in October. Joining Gray’s design in the Terminator High ensemble includes Morehouse College, Spelman College, Tuskegee University, and Tennessee State University. The campaign, which first launched in 2020 to elevate HBCU culture, also features talent from Bowie State University, Florida A&M, Hampton University, Howard University, North Carolina A&T, Prairie View A&M, Southern University, and Winston-Salem State University.

In Nike’s Oct. 5 announcement, the athletic brand spotlighted the students from the featured historically Black colleges and universities. The 2023 Yardrunners were introduced on the brand’s official Instagram page as student leaders “fearlessly inspiring change and boldly representing a rich legacy.”

Gray’s AAMU design is available to purchase online from Nike on Nov. 18. The sneaker is valued at $150.

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