If you follow the Lynx even a little, you’ve probably seen a few of Seimone Augustus’ shoes. During the 2018 season, Minnesota’s guard trotted out several pairs of incredible customized kicks. Augustus’ shoes are more than just a fashion statement, they’re an opportunity for her to show off her personality, make a statement about what is important to her, as well as a chance to showcase great local art!
Augustus worked with a Minneapolis-based artist, Salvatore Marcum, that she connected with on Instagram (@MPLS_customs) to create many of her signature kicks. Augustus would send Marcum her ideas and specifications, and Marcum would go to work. Their collaborations led to some very memorable shoes that took the league and the internet by storm.
Let’s count down five of Augustus’ best shoes from last season and hear what she has to say about them.
No. 5: All-Star
Interestingly enough, when Marcum came to Target Center to deliver Augustus her All-Star-themed shoes for the game, it was the first time the two had met in person!
“The All-Star ones just came up, Sal just came up with those, the league actually got in touch with him and he came up with the whole theme for the All-Star ones,” said Augustus. “It’s so funny, you would think that Sal and I would sit down and go through this whole thing, I hit him up on Instagram and was like ‘Could you customize some shoes?’ and we did everything through Instagram. The first I saw him was at All-Star, like actually met him, shook his hand and was like, ‘Oh you’re Sal!’”
The All-Star kicks themselves are impressive. They incorporate the All-Star logo, the Lynx colors, Seimone’s iconic number 33, the left heel reads “8x All-Star,” and the whole shoe is done in black with white stars and subtle lightning bolts. The kicks were a fitting tribute to Augustus’ remarkable career and Minnesota as the All-Star Game’s host city.
No. 4: DuckTales
While Augustus’ “DuckTales” themed kicks don’t have the layers of significance behind the All-Star shoe, they’re just plain cool. It’s fitting that ‘Money Mone’ would have a shoe featuring piles and piles of cash.
“DuckTales, I wanted to do something pertaining to money and my favorite cartoon,” said Augustus. “DuckTales was my favorite cartoon, when Scrooge jumps into money and swims through it or whatever, I thought that was a kinda fun thing.”
We agree. Scrooge McDuck’s dive into a heap of gold coins and dollar bills made excellent fodder for one of Augustus’ most fun pairs of kicks. The lighthearted homage to her nickname as well as one of her favorite shows made us all smile.
No. 3: Proud Family
In another TV show tribute, Augustus and Marcum drew inspiration from “Proud Family,” an early-2000s Disney Channel coming-of-age animated creation featuring a ton of memorable characters. Augustus drew a connection between the show and her Lynx family which is reflected in the art.
“I thought about our team, we’d been through a lot but we stuck together. No matter the ups and downs, everything, we had a lot of stuff. People were talking about how old we were all season, the dynasty is ending, but I’m like ‘Yo, but we’re a proud family!’ said Augustus. “I think each person, each little character, is somebody. Brunson is the grandmother for sure, Maya is probably Penny, the grouch sisters, I would joke with Syl all the time, one of the grouch sisters is probably Syl.”
Where does Augustus fit in?
“The grandfather is probably me,” she said. “Everybody says I move like an old man. They say you like old cars, you move like an old man, you talk like an old man, I was like ok well I’m going to put grandpa on.”
No. 2: Black Panther
“Black Panther” was the biggest movie of 2018, so it made sense that Augustus wanted to pay it tribute, but of course, she wasn’t going to do that in a traditional way. Instead of focusing on the character of Black Panther, Augustus chose to focus on all the female characters surrounding T’Challa that made the story possible.
“A lot of people didn’t catch it, I wanted to do all of the female characters,” Augustus said. “Black Panther, ok cool, but you know the significance of Queen Mother, the sister who was the tech guru in the movie, and then the army, the female army was kind of crazy to me to see strong powerful women in that position protecting the king.”
The shoes themselves are beautiful, with the deep purple colors being used in the background behind the characters and speckled throughout the sole. The characters from the movie all have unique poses and expressions, too. This is certainly a memorable pair.
No. 1: Care Bears
In addition to being probably the most impressive piece of artwork Augustus had on her shoes all year, what makes the Care Bear shoes special is the message behind them. Augustus’ idea for the shoes grew out of Nike’s “Be True” collection which focuses on empowerment and equality.
“I wanted the bears that symbolized love, happiness, joy, things like that, because that’s what be true is about. Most people think [Be True] is an LGBTQ movement, which it is somewhat, but it’s just being true to who you are,” she said. “What is your expression of yourself, what do you give to the world? That’s what I mean with Be True.”
The Care Bears show was a perfect fit for that message.
“The Care Bears, how did they fight evil or negativity? It was through love,” said Augustus. “The only bad bear which wasn’t a bad bear was grumpy bear. He was grumpy all the time but he wasn’t a bad bear. When it was time to make our stomachs glow and fight power, we did it, he came together and did it.”
The league took notice and the Care Bear kicks were extremely popular on Twitter. In fact, the shoes are in the finals of a contest on the WNBA Twitter account to determine the best pair of kicks worn this year in the WNBA. If you want to see Augustus take home the prize, show her some love in the form of a vote!