Alicia Keys took a break from her “Set the World on Fire” tour to debut her Reebok Classic Freestyle wedge sneakers at Nordstrom at The Grove in Los Angeles. Extra co-host Maria Menounos hosted a Q&A with Alicia during the launch party, where customers had the chance to hear from her about her Reebok collaboration, her style inspirations, her personal sneaker collection and more. Here are some excerpts from the event:
Maria Menounos: Tell me what it feels like to have your own shoe line.
Alicia Keys: It feels really cool. I’ve got to say, I don’t know if you guys know, but I’m actually a sneaker fanatic, and growing up, it was always about how I could match my sneakers with everything, with my jacket and with my hair ties in my hair. Sneakers have always been a big part of my culture and my life. Growing up in the city, you wear sneakers because you have to walk everywhere and you go everywhere on the train. When I was younger, I would always be like “If these were mine, I’d make them this color and that color and match them with this.” It was really cool to actually make them.
Maria (pictured right): Why did you decide to partner with Reebok?
Alicia: I’ve been really blessed to work with Reebok, and I love them. I think culturally, as a company, they have the right type of attitude and the right type of style. They are timeless. They’ve been around for a really long time, which is incredible. The inspiration for my spring collection came from what Reebok calls their Freestyle, but when I was young, I called them the 5411s, because after tax, they cost $54.11. I wanted to evolve the Freestyle, and that’s what we’re introducing first. Reebok as a company really wants to live with passion—they want to live with fire—and that really resonates with me. Not only have I been connected to them since I was a kid but also now that I’m getting to know them, work with them. I really see just the culture of the company, and it has a really powerful message.
Reebok ‘Freestyle Hi Wedge A. Keys’ Sneaker in Black/Pink/Yellow/White, (Nordstrom Exclusive).
Maria: Talk about the creative process—what was that like for you?
Alicia: The creative process was so much fun! How great it is to have another outlet of creativity and be able to explore different ways to bring that out? We created a first line with no wedge in it, and that was a way for us to get introduced to each other. So on this next wave, we’ve just been having a ball. It’s very hands-on, something I enjoy doing. They send me these huge papers and we go through them a hundred times to make sure we love them before we put them into production. So it’s been really fun to work on.
Maria: Tell me about how many pairs of sneakers you own.
Alicia: I think I have a lot of sneakers, but not as many as my husband. It’s a competition in the household, and he might have me beat on sneakers, but I do have a lot of pairs. I am a sneaker girl. I love them. I don’t know if I’ve ever counted them.
Maria: Where does your style inspiration come from?
Alicia: My style inspiration comes from everywhere. I think there’s definitely a combination from growing up in New York and stomping the pavement. There is definitely a toughness that I like a lot. And then obviously becoming a woman and really appreciating my womanhood and femininity. So my style kind of emerges from those two. There is always going to be a bit of a tough element and also a sweet or sensual element to it as well. I really like it when they collide, as it feels exactly like who I am.
Maria: What was your favorite show or city you played and why?
Alicia: Each one is different. Each night is different. Each energy is different. We performed here [in L.A.] two nights ago, and the energy was just ridiculous, that’s for sure. One of the cities that I really love a lot is Lisbon, Portugal. Something about the energy, the people. It was my first time there, so it was seeing a new place with old history. It was just really cool.
The Reebok Classic Freestyle Wedge A. Keys Collection will be available exclusively in the BP. Shoes department at select Nordstrom stores and online.