Sneaker culture is all about exclusivity, but it isn’t exclusive to men. Meet Sabrina Mabbett, a self-identified sneakerhead and the store manager of a boutique sneaker shop in Milwaukee called Sneex, located in the Third Ward. Mabbett is using her fly kicks to kick down barriers for women in the sneaker industry.
Watch the video story below to learn more about the real women of sneaker culture.
What does it mean to be a “real woman?” To Mabbett, a sneaker fanatic, there is no cookie cutter definition to what a woman should look like. The idea that women belong in pageantry bikinis, dresses and heels is dead to her.
When a national brand rep for a shoe company told her she wasn’t “a real woman” because she prefers sneakers and hoodies, she took it upon herself to spin the negative situation into an empowering community event for Milwaukee’s sneaker lovers.
With support from the owner of Sneex, Eric “Shake” James, Mabbett hosted a panel of fierce, female leaders working in the fashion industry to talk about inclusion in the industry. Mabbett sat beside Beija Velez, a model and creative who is releasing a shoe with Adidas; Jazerai Allen-Lord, one of the first woman to write for Sneaker Outlet ‘Kicks on Fire;” and April Walker, a legend in streetwear fashion.
The turnout of the event proved “real woman” also rock sneakers. The panel’s informal style allowed people in the audience to share their insights about sneaker culture. The group engaged in conversation about self-worth, making it a space of empowerment.
The engagement and strong turnout shows the demand for local spaces catering to sneaker culture. Mabbett plans to host panels and workshops for Milwaukee’s sneaker heads in the coming months. Details about future events can be found on their Facebook page.