A 14-year-old Brooklyn shoe designer is stepping onto the Hollywood scene.
Enter Amira-Dior Traynham-Artis, the creator of a shoe line called Lane 1. The young entrepreneur will present her sneakers at a celebrity gift suite prior to the Oscars, the movie industry’s biggest night.
“I was definitely excited,” Traynham-Artis said about being offered the opportunity. “I didn’t know how to feel at first.”
She began designing shoes at her mother’s urging and created Lane 1 about two and a half years ago.
“I know that my daughter is very creative. She has been creative since a very young age,” Kenesha Traynham-Cooper said, adding that she was “designing things already. So I figured, you know what, let me give her a platform where we can make this tangible.”
About designing, Traynham-Artis said “I think that it’s cool.”
Being able to “wear your art — I think that’s something that’s really cool about fashion,” she said.
Nathalie Dubois, CEO of global brand execution platform DPA group, said she invited Traynham-Artis to present her shoes at “the DPA luxe gift suite 2023” after learning about her through a PR group.
Dubois explained that a gift suite is “like a free market for celebrities,” where stars will discover products and take them for free if they would like. Oftentimes, celebrities take pictures, which increases a product’s sales.
“Today’s world for the kids, I think is very dark,” she noted, saying she wanted to help Traynham-Artis, whom she called “brilliant.”
Her mother called the opportunity “a dream come true.”
“What parent does not want this for their child?” she said. “It’s a blessing.”
Traynham-Artis has been working with Gernie NYC and Marc Joseph New York to create over 70 pairs of sneakers for the suite.
“We want to bring stuff that pops, but doesn’t talk too loud,” said Jack Gernie Ashkenazi, CEO of men’s lifestyle brand Gernie NYC. “We want something that when the celebrity sees it, they’re going to say, ‘We like this brand going forward.'”
Joseph Antebi, the chief operating officer and creative director for the footwear brand Marc Joseph New York, said his favorite part about working with Traynham-Artis “is that she’s so free spirited and creative.”
“Her maturity level when it comes to this kind of stuff punches way above her age,” he said.
Traynham-Cooper said she hopes her daughter’s sneakers will be available for purchase in stores.
“We see more outlets and more ventures where her sneakers can eventually be available in person and in stores,” she said.
She added that they want to make sure “it’s a relatable sneaker, a comfortable sneaker, a sneaker that everyone wants.”
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