The moniker “Golden Barbie” is fitting for Jasmine Sanders, a Southern-bred model who beamed a bright smile while debuting her first shoe at her “Crush the Look” Reebok event in New York late last month.
“It didn’t really click until this morning when I woke up. My dad called me last night and said, ‘My baby girl has a shoe,’” she told Footwear News of the surreal experience.
In tandem with footwear designer Alexander John, Sanders conceived a makeup-inspired color palette for the sneaker, dubbed the Freestyle Hi Contour.
“My favorite part was between the day that we were selecting what the actual colors would be and when I finally got to hold the shoe and pick the outfits that go with it. I feel like that’s the most fun,” she said.
And while her profession has her picking and wearing glamorous outfits on any given day of the week, Sanders is most in her element in athleisure. Sanders’ self-described “tomboy edge” mixed with “sexy spunk” ensures she feels good inside and out.
“I could be in a dress with these sneakers and still love the vibe because I can walk in and know that it doesn’t matter who I talk to, I feel good with this skin, and it’s going to make me be able to portray who I am to the people that are meeting me that night,” she explained.
While Sanders has her style on lock, there’s one personal characteristic that she plans to home in on this year. “It sounds cheesy as hell, but just being nicer and being more me,” she said. “I just want to make sure I’m being my complete, authentic, full, crazy, fun self.”
Sanders also revealed some of her go-to beauty and style hacks to FN. Read the full interview below.
What is your fondest memory of wearing Reebok shoes?
“My fondest memory would have to go back to childhood, running around. I’m such a tomboy if you really know me. I grew up playing volleyball, basketball and soccer, all at the same time. My dad would have to pull me in the house. Like, he’d scream at me and be like, ‘Come in the house before the streetlights come on.’ I was the daughter that was never home before the streetlights came on, and I was always dirtier and cut-up and bruised up more than any other kid on the block, but honestly it was just wearing the classics during childhood.”
How has it felt to design your first signature shoe — the Reebok Hi Contour?
“I’m like ‘this is real, this is happening.’ It’s happening a lot sooner than I thought it would, but I’m really happy that I get the opportunity to do something so creative and so fun and a little more behind the scenes than what a normal model gets to do.”
What’s your favorite way to style sneakers?
“My favorite way to style sneakers is very much [with] a track suit or sweats or a very classic black legging with a dope crewneck. I love switching it up and having more of a tomboyish vibe, especially when I’m playing up my makeup and my hair a little different. Even tonight I have my hair half-up, half-down and I’m playing up the curls. It’s a playful and girly at the same time. It’s still giving you a little bit of spunk and saying, ‘Hey, I can catch a ball at the same time.’ I give you a little bit of a tomboy edge but also a bit of a sexy spunk.”
Do you have a pre-workout beauty routine?
“Pre-workout is really just make sure you take off your makeup. I know how bad we really want to look cute when we go in there. Girls, I will say this — put your brows on when you go the gym. A brow will shape your face and make you look amazing. You do not need to have lashes on. You do not need to have mascara on. Mascara will run down your face in two seconds, and he is not going to think you’re cute when you’re trying to work out on the treadmill. So, really work out. Really enjoy your workout but put on a quick, clear brow gel [and] the tiniest bit of highlight even if it’s something just dewy sitting on your skin.
“Stay away from the foundations and everything because when you’re using the towels at the gym you see it coming off and at the same time you’re also packing it into your pores. So stay away from building all those extra layers on layers and the baking process. Don’t do any of that to go to the gym, especially if you’re really going to work out. If you’re going to take a selfie, go for it. I don’t care. Have fun!”
And your post-workout beauty routine?
“Post workout – even if you don’t have an inch of makeup on – make sure you’re taking off everything. Make sure you’re really cleaning your skin. Even if you feel like you didn’t have anything on to begin with, when you go to the gym and open up your pores, they will start seeping out stuff that you may have had on the night before or two hours before that you thought you got rid of before you walked into the gym. Continue to cleanse. Continue to moisturize. That’s also a good time to do any face masks and stuff like that because your pores are very open and they’re taking in everything. Just don’t put anything on your skin that you feel like will cake up because it will live in your pores, because your pores are so open from being in the gym and everything. After the gym, it’s all about moisturizing, cleansing as much as possible, [using] cold towels — everything that calms your skin down, calms you down. Candles, a good glass of wine and relax.”
What’s your go-to travel look for style?
“For outfits, I like to stay comfortable. I stay around lots of blacks, and that’s only because I know I can pair it with so many different things. Especially now when it’s wintertime and we’re dealing with the changes of climate out of nowhere and everywhere that you go it can switch up so much. But if you have a really good black dress [and] an amazing black boot, [it works]. I feel like that’s something a woman really needs to invest in, is a good black thigh-high boot. Stuart Weitzman, honey, has them. I love a good thigh-high boot. But a thigh-high boot for me is like a tennis shoe. I can run around in them. So as soon as you see me in a hoodie with a thigh high or a miniskirt or something, I can change into 20 different outfits and go 20 different places in that one night if I have that one shoe that’s going to allow me to do that.”
You mentioned being nervous when you came out to address the audience. What are some tricks you use to combat nerves?
“Some of my tricks are honestly just dealing with my friends, dealing with my support group that really just holds me down. I have so many amazing agents, and my manager is epic. I have an amazing assistant and an awesome boyfriend who constantly is pushing me and making sure that I do everything I need to and that I’m doing it the best. So I have a thousand and one people to make sure that I’m perfect, but I also have a thousand and one people to make sure that I’m OK. And I feel like that’s the biggest thing. When you don’t have a lot of people that are around you constantly saying, ‘Yes, yes, yes. Yes, this is perfect’ — because you want us to say yes — you end up going a lot further. Because you get the real opinions. You just get the real of everything. And it’s nice to have because at the end of the day, I’m a girl that came from South Carolina, and I never thought that I would have a tennis shoe.”
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?
“My biggest resolution is not fitness or any of that fun stuff. I hope that I can stick to my fitness and everything that I normally do. Honestly, it sounds cheesy as hell but just being nicer and being more me. I feel like a lot of people, especially when we get wrapped up in work, you get wrapped up in losing yourself a little bit and you don’t notice it until it comes the end of the year. And you’re like, ‘Oh my God, I’ve done so much, but I really want to express it a little bit different.’ So, for me, I just want to make sure I’m being my complete, authentic, full, crazy, fun self that I feel like you guys get to see in little spurts but you don’t see it all the time. But just being yourself and enjoying life and spending as much time as you can with your family and friends [is most important] because you never know what day is promised. There’s so much crazy stuff going on, so just enjoy it while you can and use your voice if you have one. And if you feel like you don’t have one, make one.”