Sabrina Ionescu’s first signature shoe with Nike features ‘Easter Eggs’ from the WNBA Star’s personal story

Sabrina Ionescu #20 of the New York Liberty poses for a portrait during WNBA Media Day

Steven Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images

Sabrina Ionescu is all about the details.

The WNBA star announced her first signature shoe and apparel collection with Nike on Thursday, making her the first women’s basketball player to deliver a unisex signature collection with the iconic shoe brand. And the sharpener brought her sharp eye to the design process.

“I notice everything,” Ionescu, 25, tells PEOPLE. Both on and off the field, she says she is “very” detail-oriented. “The drills I do, how I prepare for games, everything is really thought out,” she explains.

So when it came time for her to work with Nike on her first signature shoe, she says her approach was the same. The New York Liberty star incorporated more personal details into the design that tells her story.

“The Easter eggs that are in the shoe just speak a lot to the story that I want to tell, and of course Nike is known for their storytelling,” says Ionescu, who adds, “it’s been really nice” to “be able to bring those details into the “shoe.

Never miss a story – sign up PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to keep you updated on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Inspired by Ionescu’s national heritage, the intricate embroidery patterns on Sabrina 1 pay homage to traditional Romanian art and architecture. Incorporating her background into the design allows her to show her pride in “the root of who I am,” she says.

“It’s always humbling and they’re very excited,” she says of her family’s reaction to the shoe.

Sabrina Ionescu announces signature shoes with Nike

Sabrina Ionescu announces signature shoes with Nike

Courtesy Nike

The shoe’s design is highlighted by a dotted “i” that wraps around the upper and lower outsole of the shoe – a detail that respects her last name.

Family has been an important influence on Ionescu, especially her brothers, one of whom is her twin. “It’s shaped me into who I am, the basketball player I am and the person I am,” Ioenscu says of her relationship with Andrei, 34, and Edward, 25.

RELATED: New York Liberty’s Sabrina Ionescu sets multiple WNBA records in all-time game

Growing up, Ionescus didn’t take into account “gender norms,” ​​she says, recalling that her brothers “didn’t see me as a girl and just saw me as part of the family.”

“They didn’t care that I wanted to play basketball and girls had to play with dolls or whatever the gender norm was, they wanted to support me, and they still do to this day.”

Ionescu is “very grateful to them” and “very excited that this shoe tells that story as well,” she says.

Sabrina Ionescu announces signature shoes with Nike

Sabrina Ionescu announces signature shoes with Nike

Courtesy Nike

Another subtle nod to Ionescu’s career is hidden in the interior of the shoe – a vertically slanted Swoosh representing the barriers Ionescu has broken throughout her career, and a hidden “Anyone, Anywhere” quote serves as a reference to her competitive spirit and believe. that dreamers can come from anywhere.

RELATED: Sabrina Ionescu Says Kobe Bryant’s Legacy ‘Motivates’ Her: ‘I Carry Kobe and Gigi With Me Every Day’

Ionescu wants the shoe and its hidden messages to inspire the next generation of young athletes. “The first thing when a young girl opens her shoe, I just want them to see opportunity and have a dream and do whatever it takes for them to achieve it because I was able to.”

Ionescu also helped design clothes and accessories for the collection, which will be available for purchase this summer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: