One Teenager Started Designing Shoes From Her Home in Brooklyn — Now They’re Being Gifted to Movie Stars at the Oscars
“Wow, I’ve come a very long way, I know if I was able to go back in the past and drag younger me right here, she would be so excited and so proud.”
Can you remember a creative project you started as a kid? For many, it is hard to imagine these projects existing beyond the walls of our childhood bedroom.
For Amira-Dior Traynham-Artis, her dream of designing sneakers took on some serious new life when organizers from the Academy Awards reached out to her about including her shoes in the gift packages provided to celebrities at the awards.
She couldn’t believe it. Just last year, the seventh-grader launched her company online, Lane 1.
However, she has always had a keen sense of both design and business. The Brooklyn native started designing shoes from her childhood bedroom a few years ago, though her mother recalls her penchant for branding budding far earlier.
A Brand of Self Expression
At just three-years-old, “she was cutting up pieces of paper at the table and we asked her what she was doing,” her mother told news outlets. “And she said ‘I’m giving out business cards, just like that.”
Amira-Dior Traynham-Artis has always been dedicated, and her story is a testament to perseverance. “For me, no matter what the task is, if I really have my mind set on it, especially when it comes to art, I’m going to do it,” she told another news outlet.
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This energy bleeds into the brand, where the mission statement reads: “LANE 1 was created as a walk of expression. When you wear them, your’e speaking without saying something. They are unique. They are high quality. They are YOU in your own lane. LANE 1- Speak without saying something!”
Though the shoes are designed in Brooklyn, they are produced all the way in Italy, and soon will be a fixture in Hollywood.
Quickly Rising to the Top of Hollywood Fashion
After her budding brand gained representation from management company, S.W. Roseburgh, she received a call from them informing her that organizers from the awards show would like to fly her out to Los Angeles and provide exclusive designs for certain attendees.
She is producing 75 exclusive pairs for the event, where they’ll be on display in the DPA Luxe Gift Suite in the week leading up to the award ceremony, and eventually gifted to some celebrities. We are unsure what the shoes featured at the awards show will look like, but some of her past designs can be seen below. All images courtesy of Lane 1 Fashion.
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Amira said that the one celebrity she particularly wished to see in her designs is fan favorite, actress Zendaya. This likely all seemed a fantasy to the young designer just a year ago, but through her hard work, and dedication, she earned the opportunity.
Amira started designing for fun, following the passion because it felt natural to her. Genuine love for any craft, combined with continued commitment and action, can yield incredible results. For example, Amira even used her birthday party as a launch party for the brand, evidence of her commitment to the project.
Dream Big No Matter Where You May Be
Anyone who has pursued a dream like hers know that there is no shortage of detractors and doubters. Thankfully, there are also many people out there who want to see others succeed, and Amira’s story is also one of support. Not only from her family, who nurtured her passions and supported the young designer, but from her community as well.
The shoes for the Oscars are being produced in conjunction with a Brooklyn based production company, keeping much of the operation local. Many of her friends from school also showed up in full force to the brand’s launch party, eager to see their friend shine. Stories like these are a reminder of the power of belief, both in self and in others.
Amira’s story is also an empowering example of ignoring doubters, and living life on your own terms. Coming from Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, it was likely a far stretch for her to think of one day working with manufacturers all the way in Italy, and seeing her designs at a stage like the Oscars.
Though she is still in middle school, the young designer certainly has a bright future in front of her. In a full circle moment, Amira is now an inspiration to other young designers, encouraging people everywhere to follow your dreams. You never know where it may take you.