Mar 19, 2023
Nike to launch Sabrina Ionescu’s first signature shoe, apparel
Mar 19, 2023
Nike has introduced Sabrina Ionescu as its newest signature athlete after naming a special shoe—the Sabrina 1—after her as well as dedicating an apparel collection inspired by the basketball player.
She joins the growing team of women who have partnered with Nike to develop signature collections, including Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe, and Naomi Osaka.
With a focus on gender-neutral performance and lifestyle pieces, Ionescu’s first signature apparel collection launches in adult sizing and includes a hoodie, tees, shorts, and a cross-body bag, Nike said in a press release.
A special innovation comes through in one of the most important pieces of equipment for basketball players—game socks. The Nike Unicorn sock is the first Nike sock to use Dri-FIT ADV materials, a technology seen in Nike’s most advanced apparel collections. Made with at least 80 per cent recycled materials, the sock is designed to provide cushioning, compression, traction, and Achilles support for explosive movements.
For Sabrina 1, Nike designers focused on increasing comfort and support while keeping the shoe lightweight. The shoe features full-length Nike React cushioning and a top-loaded Nike Zoom Air unit in the forefoot. This combination provides energy return and responsiveness, while a stabilising shank in the midfoot helps players stay balanced. A midfoot band system and lockdown cables help the foot stay secure over the footbed.
Inspired by Ionescu’s national heritage, the intricate embroidery patterns on the Sabrina 1 forefoot and eye-stays pay homage to traditional Romanian art and architecture. The shoe’s design is highlighted by a dotted ‘i’ that wraps around the top and bottom outsole of the shoe. The wraparound detail ends in a dotted ‘i’ on the heel—a detail that pays respect to her last name. On the medial side of the shoe, a vertically slanted swoosh represents the barriers that Ionescu has broken throughout her career, and a hidden “Anyone, Anywhere” quote serves as reference to Ionescu’s competitive spirit as well as her belief that dreamers can come from anywhere.
“Ionescu is the first women’s basketball player to deliver a unisex signature collection with Nike, Inc,” said Kerry Sobol, VP global women’s team and organised sports. “We are thrilled she will lead the charge with us and continue to change the scope of the game for future generations.”
The Sabrina 1 and signature apparel collection will be released later this summer on Nike’s website and select retailers.
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