“A lot of passion and energy went into it, and every detail that we put into the shoe has a story behind it,” the WNBA legend tells Boardroom.
One of the most celebrated college players of all time, a bidding war between Nike and Adidas was sparked once Parker turned pro after her two consecutive national championships at Tennessee, with the 2008 NCAA Player of the Year ultimately landing with The Three Stripes.
The deal included her own signature sneaker.
“My goal was to have a signature shoe,” she smiled. “Adidas made that promise and Adidas followed through.”
The ninth woman in WNBA history to receive her own namesake series, Parker was heavily involved in the design of her “Ace” series that first launched in 2010. Just as she was finishing up her dual Rookie of the Year and MVP season in her first year with the LA Sparks – the only time that’s been achieved in WNBA history – she was insistent on a support strap and a Skittles-inspired multi-colored outsole during the design process.
Now a decade removed from her last signature shoe, Parker is once again releasing a detailed assortment of footwear and apparel with Adidas. The brand is simply calling it “The Candace Parker Collection,” with three colorways of the Exhibit A sneaker, an exclusive Ultraboost running shoe and t-shirts, shorts, and hoodies all included.
“A lot of passion and energy went into it, and every detail that we put into the shoe has a story behind it,” she added.
From elements like nods under each shoe tongue to both her daughter Lailaa and late Lady Vols head coach Pat Summitt, her Exhibit As are set to launch in both grey and black base colors with gold accents, along with a vivid orange Tennessee colorway. The shoes release on Sept. 23 nationwide, just as Parker begins her first WNBA playoffs with the Chicago Sky.
“I feel like every part of my life has been represented in the shoes, from my Tennessee days to Naperville, out to LA, and then back home again,” said the Chicagoland native.
The full Parker Collection will be releasing in a wide range of sizes, with the recent W25 honoree looking for players and fans of all sizes, genders, and backgrounds to have access to her new launch. Her logo is representative of that inclusiveness.
“It’s not a king, it’s not a queen, and there’s no gender with an Ace,” Parker said.