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Alicia Keys Says the Sneaker Industry Needs to Support More Female Designers

Alicia Keys joined Complex this week for the newest episode of its Sneaker Shopping series on YouTube.

The “No One” singer, accompanied by host Joe La Puma, visited Stadium Goods in New York to discuss all things footwear and rare sneakers — Keys herself showed up in a pair of Kaws x Air Jordan 4 that resell for upwards of $5,000. In the video released on Monday, Keys explained that from the start of her footwear collection was all about Nike Air Force 1, Timberland Boots and Reebok 5411s.

“I would wear sneakers before anything else every day,” explained Keys in the video. “I’m mad when I put on heels and now nobody wearing heels ever again, because where we goin’?”

She also revealed that for Father’s Day, she gifted her husband Swizz Beats a pair of rare, original Air Jordan 7 “Olympic” from 1992, not its 2012 rerelease; the original pairs are extremely hard to find with only one size available for resale purchase currently at StockX.

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Of course, when it comes to sneakers, Keys would be remiss if she didn’t mention her own successful collaborations. The Grammy Award-winning artist released her first-ever collection with Reebok in 2012 and had to include a special pair of sneakers from her childhood.

alicia keys, reebok, sneakers, 5411, freestyle
Alicia Keys x Reebok Freestyle 5411
CREDIT: Courtesy of Glamour

When asked about her collaboration, the singer responded: “I loved it, especially because there’s such a special memory for me growing up with the 5411. It’s such a classic shoe but it was time for a revamp, a re-vibe of it.”

The singer went on to discuss the difficulties faced by women when attempting to enter the sneaker design world. In discussing collaborations like Melody Eshani x Reebok and Aleali Mae x Air Jordan, Keys explained the importance of these collections.

“I think that the industry is a little behind and it is a little unfortunate that we have to get excited because two or three women broke into the space, it kind of makes me nuts,” said the “Fallin'” singer. “But of course I love what they’re doing and it is an outlet and we got a lot of work to do on a lot of levels. I mean but just look at these powerful women creating these spaces where it’s just busting the door down, so I love it, I’m with it, I’m all about it.”

To round out the video, she checked out a pair of Nike Chunky Dunkys and jokingly called them “Nike Swizz Beats sneakers” before purchasing a pair in a size 10.5 for her musician husband. The pair cost her a pretty penny of $2,575.53.

Watch the full Alicia Keys x Complex Sneaker Shopping video below.

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