Nike, a multinational corporation that supports historically black colleges and universities, traveled to Tallahassee on Friday to gift FAMU with its very own Nike Dunk Low.
Florida A&M University and Nike signed a multi-year agreement in March 2021 that covers athletic footwear, uniforms and apparel for FAMU athletes. The event took place at the APB store on Gaines Street, and the line extended to Gaines with over 2,000 attendees.
Lunden Austin, a native of Tallahassee, oversees the operation of the APB store in Tallahassee. APB focuses on cutting-edge fashion designers, collectible shoes and a list of more avant-garde brands.
The store offers selective clothing for men and women as well as relatively inexpensive launches of rare shoes. It has various locations in Florida and South Carolina.
The $120 Dunk Low shoe launched early, exclusively at the APB store so FAMU students could get first dibs on the shoe before Nike releases it online worldwide.
Florida A&M alumnus Caitlyn Davis is the creator of the FAMU Dunk Low. She’s designed sneakers before, but this is by far the best collaboration yet, she said.
“My favorite colors are orange and green, so why not design shoes for the illustrious Florida A&M,” Davis said. “As soon as I heard that Nike was collaborating with HBCUs, I knew this project was going to be very special, especially as an alumnus.”
FAMU’s campus and culture were considered in the shoe’s creation. The school’s founding year – yes, 1887 – is written on the back of the shoes along with the phrase “WE BRAGG DIFFERENT” to symbolize Bragg Memorial Stadium, the home of FAMU football.
“Strike, Strike and Strike Again” is written under the sneaker’s tongue, and an icy blue cover is attached to an orange and green snakeskin bottom. The letters “FAMULY” and the abbreviation “COLAC”, which means “college of love and charity”, are embroidered in green on the laces.
Quinton Womack, a fourth-year political science student at Florida A&M, was disappointed he didn’t get his hands on a pair after waiting in line for five hours.
“I just wished there were more raffles or at least an RSVP ticket,” Womack said. “There were only 25 pairs available, not including those who responded.”
Students and alumni are still waiting for the sneakers to drop via the Nike app to see if they’ll have better luck.