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Is there a phase of this where you’re starting to recruit other runners to compete in Saysh spikes? You obviously know a number of talented women in the running world.
Not at the moment. We really see it more as a lifestyle brand, as far as the sneakers. Just, performance spikes, it’s a hard world. It’s extremely expensive to make these spikes. Like I said, they’re all handmade—we haven’t mass-produced or anything. So right now that’s not really kind of the focus. It’s just really on the lifestyle sneaker. I feel like it’s more about meeting women where they are. The everyday woman doesn’t need a running spike, but I do feel like they need a sneaker that is for them, and made by them. And so that’s where all the attention is.
So you have the spikes, and you have the lifestyle shoe as well. Are you at the point now where you’re only wearing your own shoes?
[Laughs.] Yeah. I have been the last, I guess, six months or so. Which is so different, having so many sneakers, but it’s a really cool thing.
And then, what’s the plan with the spikes that you ran in at the Olympics? What becomes of those now?
We’re actually auctioning a pair off that will go to Power of She Fund, which is a fund to help female athletes who are mothers to be able to compete and have childcare. It’s just the true embodiment of what the brand is. It stands for speaking out and knowing your worth and your value. And so I think that will always be at the core of who we are as a brand.
Is it hard to let go of them? Because this really is a piece of history.
I mean, as long as I continue to run, I’ll be in them. This was my last Olympics, not sure what I’m going to do next year. We have World Championships that is in the U.S., and so that’s a possibility, but yeah, they won’t be far.
The history you were confronting with respect to the medal count is very obvious, but were you actively thinking about what this moment meant in footwear history? In terms of being a Black woman who started her own brand and very quickly took it all the way to the Olympic medal stand. Are you thinking about that, in terms of footwear?
Completely. I think even in starting this brand, I think there were so many moments where I felt like, “Well, can I do this? I’m this girl from the heart of L.A. Am I capable?” And I hope, more than anything, it’s a representation that we can do this, that women can do this, that women of color can do this. And I just feel grateful for all of the support that I’ve received through it, throughout the whole process.
But yeah, I do understand the significance of it. And also just understanding more of this industry through the amazing women that I’ve been able to work with, and kind of understanding the hardships that they face, as engineers, and as designers, and wanting to have more opportunity there. I think that’s something that we thought about a lot as a brand, that we want this to be a place that women can come in to grow their careers. And so, constantly working to do that.