GREENSBORO, N.C. — Telling stories comes easy for North Carolina A&T Senior Arial Robinson. As a multimedia journalism major, she tells stories through various mediums - even through shoes.
“So, my shoe is primarily a gray shoe,” Robinson said. “It's inspired by the New Student Center on campus. So, it quite literally is the building turned into a shoe."
“It's basically a campaign to highlight the amazing people coming out of HBCUs and doing great things coming out of their respective careers,” Robinson said. “This year it's all about legacy and people who are continuing that HBCU legacy or starting their own legacy."
The bright yellow tongue and shoelaces represent the staircase inside N.C. A&T's New Student Center, while the bottom of the shoes symbolizes the campus' low-cut grass.
“It's all these experiences that happen not just in the New Student Center, but in the Memorial Student Union which was built in 1967,” Robinson said. “It was designed to be the heart of the campus. The living room of the campus where people could come to not only study but learn themselves and find themselves."
Robinson said she first caught the attention of Nike in 2020 after creating content on her Instagram inspired by the athletic brand. The company brought her in as assistant creative director, which ultimately led her to create her first real shoe.
“It feels amazing,” Robinson said. “I’m super blessed and honored to be able to tell such a rich story and talk about my school in a greater way. Really propel people to learn about not only the outside but want to step inside our physical spaces and let their kids come here and continue those traditions."
Robinson said she hopes to work in brand marketing after graduation.
Pre-sales for the North Carolina A&T Nike Dunks sold out quickly over the Summer. The shoes go on sale again on October 25th on Nike’s Sneaker App just in time for N.C. A&T’s homecoming week.