Nike, a multinational corporation that supports Historically Black Colleges and Universities, visited Tallahassee Friday to give FAMU 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 clothing for FAMU athletes. The event took place at the APB store on Gaines Street, and the line extended down Gaines with over 2,000 attendees.
Lunden Austin, a native of Tallahassee, oversees the operation of the APB store in Tallahassee. APB concentrates on cutting-edge fashion designers, collectible shoes and a more forward-thinking brand list.
The shop offers selective men’s and women’s clothing as well as relatively inexpensive launches of rare shoes. It has various locations in Florida and South Carolina.
The $120 Dunk Low shoe was released early, exclusively at the APB store so FAMU students could get first dibs on the shoe before Nike releases it globally online.
Caitlyn Davis, a Florida A&M alumna, is the designer of the FAMU Dunk Low. She has 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 Nike was collaborating with HBCUs, I knew this project was going to be very special, especially being an alumnus.”
The campus and culture of FAMU were considered in the creation of the shoe. The school’s founding year — yes, 1887 — is written across the rear of the shoes along with the phrase “WE BRAGG DIFFERENT” to symbolize Bragg Memorial Stadium, the home to FAMU football.
“Strike, Strike and Strike Again” is written beneath the tongue of the sneaker, and an icy blue cover is attached to an orange and green snakeskin bottom. The letters “FAMULY” and the abbreviation “COLAC,” which stands for the “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 that he did not get his hands on a pair after being in line for five hours.
“I just wished there were more shoes raffled or at least got an RSVP ticket,” Womack said. “There were only 25 pairs available, not including those who RSVP’d.”
Students and alumni are still waiting for the sneakers to drop via the Nike app to see if they will have better luck.