While growing up in South Central Los Angeles, Aleali May always found herself gravitating towards sneakers instead of the stereotypical girly toys. The early ‘90s is deemed the golden age of hip hop, which is when the most influential sneakers and fashion trend surfaced and marked the fashion world. One could say that this was the perfect era for the designer, stylist, model, and influencer to grow up in.
As of now, May has created 3 of the most creative, special but wearable versions of 3 different Jordan’s. A new version of the AJ1 shadows, a re-imagined version of Nike Dunks on the Air Jordan 1 silhouette and the newest (soon to be released) alternative colourway of infrared 6’s. May was the first ever female collaborator with the Jordan brand on re-imagining and designing her concept on the existing silhouettes, taking inspiration from sneakers and elements of her past that have left a mark on her.
Air Jordan 1’s designed by the young creative, released in 2017, late 2018 and 2019 (soon to be released)
Within the past 3 years, Aleali has been able to establish herself as one of the most looked up to influencers. Being invited to the most exclusive fashion shows in Paris, New York, and Milan all while being dressed in the designers’ latest collections; it is clear that she is a force to be reckoned with and not be questioned in the fashion world. Furthermore, she’s made her mark as an influential and well-respected stylist, when working with Kendrick Lamar, Tinashe, and Lil’ Yachty.
However, the more difficult side of her success she has had to overcome was how hard it was to break through in a male-dominated market.“There’s always an internal battle to represent myself and keep going,” May says. But as she set herself apart, developed her own style, a particular way of styling and designing, she became a well known and respected figure.
Nonetheless, May looks up to a lot of female artists and uses them as inspiration for her work and her outfits. Aaliyah, Alicia Keys, and the Spice girls are only a few of many.
One of Aleali’s Aaliyah inspired looks
May hopes to continue making innovations in the sneaker industry. With her hard work, dedication, and perseverance in this field, she has been able to inspire and guide individuals in the industry. In the next few years, we hope to see more and more female designers and stylists come forward and further revolutionize the fashion world with even more interesting concepts and creativity.