Though inspired by African art, rituals, and architecture, Plange hopes to use the collection to bridge sport into her work. The first offering, dubbed “Higher Learning” as previously mentioned, studies the beloved letterman’s jacket, a historic piece of sportswear. Brimming with collegiate reds and golds as well as numerous tackle twill embellishments, the shoe mirrors its influences to near exact spec. And that’s not all, as its entire look stands on the foundation of its designer’s upbringing and the culture shock as she moved from her home country of Ghana to Sunny California. “I’ve had a lot of experiences with many different groups of people, so I’ve lived through contrasts, like coming from Ghana and growing up in California, like not having a lot of money growing up and yet participating in honors classes, which included a specific kind of student,” Plange reminisces. “I think those experiences, along with the ability to travel as an adult, were big reasons why I design the way I do, because you’re able to see that the world is a lot smaller than you think, and that people are not as segmented or opposite in thought as you might think they are.”
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