Photo credit: Noemie Tshinanga
While accepting the Harlem's Fashion Row's ICON 360 Award for his style and philanthropy on Tuesday night, NBA star LeBron James honored three of the most important women in his life: his mother Gloria, his wife Savannah, and his three-year-old daughter Zhuri.
“Because of you, Gloria James, I’m able to be in a position today where I can give back and showcase why I believe African American women are the most powerful women in the world," James said in his acceptance speech.
In doing so, James introduced his first ever signature women's basketball shoe, the HFR x LeBron Nike 16, during the fashion event - which was founded by Brandice Daniel to open doors for Black designers in the fashion industry. Adhering to its mission, Daniel enlisted the help of three Black women to design the shoe: Fe Noel, Kimberly Goldson and Undra Celeste.
To mark his 16th Nike shoe release, James took to his Instagram Story to also unveil the #Strongest campaign, which features 16 powerful Black women that the 33-year-old is inspired by, such as his mother, wife and daughter.
Gloria James; Photo credit: Lelanie Foster
Savannah James; Photo credit: Lelanie Foster
Zhuri James; Photo credit: Lelanie Foster
Tennis great Serena Williams, Olympic champion Simone Biles, powerhouse executive Bozoma Saint John, writer/actress extraordinaire Lena Waithe, 11-year-old designer Kheris Rogers, and WNBA stars Maya Moore and A'ja Wilson are among the 16 women that James chose to be featured in the campaign. Check out the full list presented by Essence here.
"I believe that African-American women are some of the strongest people on earth. I grew up around incredibly strong women and continue to be inspired by the female strength I see around me, mainly in my mom, wife, and daughter. I thought it was important to recognize that strength through this shoe," James shared.
He also expressed his support of the new Colin Kaepernick Nike ad by stating: "I stand with anyone who believes in change...and I stand with Nike every day, all day."
Thank you LeBron, thank you Colin, and thank you Nike for using your platforms to stand up for change and progress.