North Carolina A&T's Arial Robinson Went From Creating A Fake Nike Campaign To Designing A Sneaker For The Company
Photo Credit: Drew Angerer

North Carolina A&T's Arial Robinson Went From Creating A Fake Nike Campaign To Designing A Sneaker For The Company

This HBCU student is showing the power of striving for one’s dreams in between classes.

On Oct. 6, Arial Robinson, an artist and student at North Carolina A&T University, shared that she manifested collaborating with Nike. In 2020, the Charlotte native posted her first fake Nike Campaign — dreaming to be behind one of the shoe brand’s real ones.

Two years later, Robinson’s prayer has been exceeded. She was selected to design an official Nike Dunk Low for her HBCU — making her the youngest and one out of four Black women to do so.

Robinson’s design is a part of Nike’s 2022 Yardrunners campaign, which celebrates the legacy of HBCUs. The company co-created HBCU-licensed footwear using the Nike Dunk Low silhouette to highlight North Carolina A&T University along with Tennessee State University, Clark Atlanta University, and Florida A&M University, according to Boardroom.

The design for the North Carolina A&T Nike Dunk Low “Ayantee” — named after the school’s yearbook — is heavily inspired by the school’s new Student Center built in 2018.

“HBCU’s were created to provide a physical space for black students to fail and succeed,” she wrote in an Instagram caption. “In our own way, on our own terms. When we were turned away from everywhere else. The student center has been that physical space for me.”

She continued: “It is such an honor to have designed a Nike dunk low that represents the community, creativity & culture embedded into our walls & those infamous yellow stairs. Our experience can’t be emulated bc it is a physical one.”

In addition to honing in on the yellow stairs, “1891” — the year the university was established — is etched on the sneakers’ back, as well as includes “From Greensboro with Love” and the North Carolina A&T logo in the front.

The North Carolina A&T Dunk Lows became available exclusively in person on Oct. 7 and are set for the SNKRS app on Oct. 25.