It’s homecoming, y’all! Around the country, HBCU grads, hopefuls, and shoulda coulda made its are gathering on campuses all over to celebrate the legacy of historically Black colleges and universities. And while there’s apparently also some football taking place, we all know the real action is on the yard. Just in time for your Reel-fresh fit checks, Nike is back with the 2022 release of it’s Yardrunners collection, the limited edition sneaker capsule intended to promote and support HBCUs.
Launched in 2020 by HBCU graduates, the Yardrunners initiative works alongside HBCU students, faculty, and alumni to capture and illuminate their stories. The company additionally connects with culturally driven Black entrepreneurs and business owners who can lend their voices and ideas as well. Each year, Nike releases a collection of shoes and accessories that represent these shared voices.
For 2022, the company chose to highlight the Nike Dunk Low silhouette, and features four schools including; Tennessee State University, Clark Atlanta University, Florida A&M University and North Carolina A&T University. And who did they call on to ensure the footwear was on point? Black women…(of course!)
Four Black HBCU women creatively assisted the Nike team on the new collection, each woman representing their own institution, bringing with them their own personal stories and inspirations from their time on the yard.
The Nike Low Dunk “Ayantee” was designed by North Carolina A&T student Arial Robinson from Charlotte, North Carolina. Robinson is pursuing a multimedia journalism degree at the university, and has previously been titled 2021 HBCU Creative of the Year, 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 Scholar, and is even a published author! Check out her books “The Modern-Day Black Alphabet” and “Black Hair Care in Color.”
Florida A&M University alumna, Caitlyn Davis helped design the Nike Dunk Low Florida A&M, is an entrepreneur, and continues to be highly influential on “The Hill,” in her hometown of Atlanta and beyond.
Heather Haynes is a current student of Clark Atlanta University and is the designer of, you guessed it, the crisp gray, black and red Nike Dunk Low Clark Atlanta University kicks. She also follows in the footsteps of her parents who are also HBCU alums.
Kalynn Terrell is responsible for the newly released Nike Dunk Low Tennessee State University, and is a fashion designer refining her craft and business savvy before graduation day.
If you’re looking to grab a pair, (or all four), the official release day is October 25th on the SNKRS app. But if you’re a current student, you might have gotten lucky ahead of time, as the company provided early access by releasing the shoes at Nike stores close to the respective campuses.