As an anchor, Kayla Grey understands the importance of personal presentation. Shoes, clothes, and accessories all reflect how we choose to present ourselves to the world and as a veteran of the sneaker community, Grey knows that choosing the right shoes can oftentimes be our most expressive aesthetic decision. Unfortunately, with constant drops and an endless array of collaborations to navigate, last-minute shopping for a loved one can quickly become an overwhelming task. Fortunately, this year, Grey is helping the sneakerhead in your life stay equipped throughout the holidays and into the new year with the ultimate guide to this year’s best sneakers, accessories, and clothes through her #eBayHolidayEdits selections. Below are some of our favourite selections from Grey for those last-minute purchases.
Jordan 1 Low OG Starfish
As a sneaker aficionado and one of Canada’s chief basketball authorities, Grey knows the historic imagery behind this iconic sneaker more than most. The Air Jordan 1 Low Starfish features a smooth white leather upper with black Swooshes and sharp Starfish overlays, similar to the colour uniform Michael Jordan wore when he famously broke the backboard in a 1985 exhibition game in Italy. A matching woven tongue label adds to the design’s retro appeal and makes for one of the most tastefully eye-catching drops this season.
“I don’t say that I ‘collect’ sneakers because I’m someone who actually wears them,” says Grey. “That’s why I love these [Jordan 1s]. They’re so practical for sneakerheads. If you get them dirty or scruff them, it doesn’t look ridiculous. And they’re just such a staple piece. You can pair them with anything, even though they’re such a standout piece. I like to find shoes that I can match with multiple outfits, whether I’m dressing up or down and the [Jordan 1 Low OG Starfish] is a go-to for that.”
Air Jordan 1 University Blue
For true Michael Jordan fans and impassioned sneakerheads, the colour scheme on the Air Jordan 4 University Blue should be all too familiar. Featuring the trademark light blue from MJ’s alma mater, the University of North Carolina, the shoe has become one of the most coveted releases from the brand. The ankle, heel, toe, and outsole are all emblazoned with University Blue, with black on the Swoosh and collar and contrasting white on the quarter panel, midsole, tongue and toe box delivering a mix of clean and classic detailing.
“Blue is the new black,” says Grey. “Jordan came out with the new [Jordan 1s] and the [Jordan 4s] and suddenly everyone was running to this colour. I wear these shoes all the time. All the time. They match with everything; you could wear an all-black outfit, all white, khakis, it doesn’t matter. They’re stylish, they’re casual, they’re comfortable. At least this year, I really do believe these shoes are an absolute staple.”
Nike Dunk Low Panda Black White
Nike has always been defined by its masterful colour-block designs, but last January, they put this timeless style to the test with the release of the Nike Dunk Low Panda Black White. The upper is constructed from white leather with black leather overlays and Swooshes. The nylon tongue features classic Nike branding, nodding to traditional Dunk design elements that created such a buzz when they debuted in 1985. A white midsole and black outsole complete a design that’s certain to appease sneakerheads old and new.
“Everyone is going with the Dunks this year,” says Grey. “I love that. I like to throw them on with some dress pants, personally, but they’re also a nod to skater culture, so there’s so much versatility. If you want to show them off at an event, you’ll make a stylish statement. If you want to wear them to the grocery store, you’ll feel put together and comfortable. I’m all for minimalist style. I’m all for Dunks this year and I’m all for Dunks next year.”
Melody Ehsani Jumpsuit
Inspired by visionary designer and entrepreneur Melody Ehsani, the eponymic label is a personal favourite of Grey. Owned and operated by women, the label is steeped in chic design, sports culture, and community advocacy. Fuelled by an enduring message of female empowerment, the brand offers an array of stylish jewellery, clothing, and footwear products that are heralded by the streetwear community, but one of its most popular options remains the classic Melody Ehsani Jumpsuit.
“The ways in which she’s able to convey her messaging about social injustice and female empowerment through her clothing is something that I love because I’m such a vocal person,” says Grey. “But also, it’s just such an understated jumpsuit. I think everybody needs that. […] They’re just so comfortable and great for busy people or parents who want to keep their style and flair without compromising comfort.”
Nike Cross Body Shoulder Bag
Sleek, subtle, and stylish, Nike’s Cross Body Shoulder Bag is precisely what you’d expect from the leaders of the athleisure industry. Tiny yet tough, the bag features a durable polyester shell that houses a compartment spacious enough for all your gear while not being cumbersome. The front pocket is bonded with BemisTape for a premium touch to make sure it stays in premium condition for years to come.
“It’s just the best,” says Grey. “I don’t like purses, I don’t like clutches, I don’t like anything like that. But with this handbag, there are so many different compartments and you can fit so much in there. You just never feel uncomfortable with it. For me with the Raptors, I’m running around the arena. My notepad, my pens, my phone, I have everything in here. I mean, if it works for me, it should work for you.”