CE: What inspired you to start Sneaker Sisterhood?
GZ: My co-founders and I have been in the Sneaker space a long time. We were going to camp outs and pick-up days and were seeing more and more women there, but we felt like there was not enough information or light being shed on being a woman in this male dominated space. The creation of Sneaker Sisterhood came primarily from wanting to have an online space to showcase multifaceted women in the space, it then grew into a large community, the largest in Europe, that spans both physical and virtual spaces.
CE: When did your love or sneakers start? Do you have a favorite sneaker?
GZ: It started quite young through my love of basketball. I first became obsessed with streetball culture and as a little girl from Italy, I didn’t have access to much (we are talking about pre social media era!) but my mum sourced some And1 mixtapes for me and And1 Tai Chi’s were also readily available in Italy – so that is how it all started. I have so many pairs that I love, but because of my love of basketball I’d have to say that Air Jordan 1s have a special place in my heart, and the shattered backboard pair, with its link to my home country of Italy, is probably number 1.
CE: What were some of your tasks while managing Commercial Business Intelligence at Formula 1?
GZ: The role was really varied, but I was supporting our global sponsorship team, so mostly providing data analysis and insights to shape our sponsorship offering. I was working to unearth information on brands and activations that would be fitting to the world of motorsports, and helped bring to life some of our most exciting sponsorship deals like the ones with AWS, Rolex, DHL and more.
CE: Talk about your experience getting to celebrate the launch of the Liverpool and Lebron James collection?
GZ: I am lucky enough to collaborate with the NBA and Nike on a regular basis, so I was invited up for the Liverpool-Everton derby when the Lebron kit was unveiled. We got to experience being on the pitch side for player entrances and have a really amazing experience merging the world of Premier League football and basketball.
CE: Any advice for someone looking to start their own brand?
GZ: The most important thing for me is to put yourself out there and network. Don’t worry about judgement from anyone else, just focus on your goal and what is important to you. The right people will understand and support you. I would also say to tap into something you are truly passionate about and build on that. Have 4-5 close people and mentors willing to support you, but don’t ask 50 people for their opinion, as you’ll get 50 different answers and it’ll change your route too drastically.