Hakeem Olajuwon: I wanted to create shoes for both fashion and basketball


hakeem olajuwon shoesHakeem Olajuwon is getting ready to re-introduce and officially launch his upscale-yet-functional DR34M signature shoe line.

During the 90s, in a time when Reeboks, Air Jordans and Nikes were the norm, Hakeem Olajuwon set foot in Etonics, LA Gears and Spaldings. Deviation has always drove the Dream’s direction.

“I’ve always liked the alternative,” said Dream, when asked about his constant yearning to be different. “In a market dominated by the same brands, I’d find joy in being unique.”

In an interview with NiceKicks, Olajuwon spoke about his brand, and in particular revealed some details about his new shoe line.

Olajuwon was asked why he’s coming up with his new line of shoes some 10 years after retiring from the NBA. Some other former NBA greats as Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing already have their shoes.

“This is something I wanted to do for a long time, by creating my own signature shoes, with my vision,” Olajuwon said. “Participating in the design, having total control of how you see it, from selecting the material to designing it, then testing it, giving feedback…”

“I wanted something very cool, fashionable, something I can wear myself,” Olajuwon noted. “This is the quality level, something that I would wear myself, something I would enjoy. So I’d want others to enjoy it as much as I do.”

Speaking about the difference of his brand from others, Hakeem said he “wanted to create the best shoes, so the best Italian leather is being used for them”.

“For example, the Gucci shoes – they are fashionable. They’re made for fashion. And how can you have, at the same time, both fashionable shoes, and wear them to play on the basketball court? This is what we tried to accomplish,” Olajuwon said.

He went on to note that the shoes are very light, as “you don’t really feel like wearing a shoe, but you feel the support.”

As for Italy, Olajuwon noted that he visited the country to meet with the representatives of a company there, that was to work on designing the shoes for his brand.

He said since it was the first time the company was developing basketball shoes, they gathered all their engineers and designers to share ideas about the concept.

Olajuwon said he wanted the shoes to be fitting so that a person wearing them could immitate the “dream shake”.

“These shoes have quality and durability. So that even when you stop playing basketball, you can always wear them as fashion shoes,” he said.

Olajuwon also noted that there are other things released under his “DR34M” brand, such as polos, t-shirts, jeans and even bags.

Hakeem Olajuwon established himself as an unusually skilled offensive player for a big man, perfecting a set of fakes and spin moves that became known as his trademark Dream Shake.

He led the Houston Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships in 1994 and 1995. In 2008, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Olajuwon is a 12-time NBA All-Star, and has been named the 1994 NBA MVP.

He is considered one of the greatest centers ever to play the game. Some say, he was the best. Olajuwon played in 1238 NBA games (1186 started), averaging 21.8 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 2.5 apg and 3.1 bpg in 35.7 minutes of action.

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