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Charlotte native and North Carolina A&T student Arial Robinson designs Nike Dunk Low sneaker

by CLTure – Nike has teamed up with multiple HBCUs for a new series of Dunk Low sneakers as part of their Yardrunners campaign. Starting in 2020, the Nike Yardrunners campaign has celebrated the history, heritage, and legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, honoring HBCU entrepreneurs and student-athletes in the first two years.

For the 2022 campaign, Nike has selected four HBCUs to collaborate on the popular Dunk Low sneaker including Florida A&M University (FAMU), Clark Atlanta, Tennessee State and Greensboro’s North Carolina A&T.

Charlotte native, photographer, writer, artist, and student, Arial Robinson was revealed as the designer of the exclusive collaboration for North Carolina A&T. Robinson, who recently published two photo books (Black Hair Care in Color and The Modern Day Black Alphabet), also released an EPit’s getting mad weird in here, as Robin Vanguard (her stage name) in January 2022.

Robinson detailed the design concept for the sneaker in a blog post titled, “I Wanted To Turn A Building Into A Shoe & Nike Let Me Do It,” paying tribute to the old Memorial Student Union building on campus. The North Carolina A&T “Ayantee” Nike Dunk Low is modeled after the architecturally stunning new Student Center built in 2018, with several intricate details.

The design was crafted with the idea of being “fully immersed in the building,” with the outer gray layer of the shoe resembling the cement blocks and structure, while the shoe laces mimic the iconic yellow stairs. Inside the tongue, the phrase “From Greensboro with Love” is revealed with the classic North Carolina A&T logo in the front. With “bookstore fashion” in mind, the laces also interweave with the word “Ayantee,” which is the name of the North Carolina A&T yearbook, and “1891” on the back heel of the sneaker, which is the year the university was established.

Be Social in Greensboro will be celebrating the launch of the North Carolina A&T Nike Dunk Low “Ayantee” on Friday, October 7 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. with designer Arial Robinson. A limited number of pairs will be available at Social Status with the official SNKRS launch coming on October 25.