UNDRCRWN creative director Kari Cruz is a native New Yorker and as the daughter of Dominican parents, she’s part of a culture that’s been massive in shaping the sneaker culture unique to the City. Having worked with Adidas, Nike and Puma, along with prominent NBA athletes in roles including marketing, branding and design, her resume adds up to over a decade of expertise in creating sport-themed product In other words, her credentials as a sneaker connoisseur couldn’t run deeper and as a brand if you’ve landed on her list, you’re definitely doing something very right.
Reflecting on the Nike x Patta shoe that one her heart for first place, Cruz explained, “The best shoe is built on equal parts design and wearability, something you’d actually want to wear on a day to day, but also 20 years from now. The Air Max 1 silhouette is so timeless that when mixed with the subtlety of the wave design on the mudguard, it becomes an entirely different shoe under Patta’s aesthetic. It’s a creative take on a classic which achieves distinction without trying too hard. Plus, it came with a bracelet! Who doesn’t love a complimentary accessory?”
Check out her top five picks below, along with three honorable mentions: Reebok x Maison Margiela: Club C White; Nike x Swarovski Air Force 1: White; Nike x Sacai x KAWS Blazer Low: Blue