As far as iconic sneakers go, you could say the Nike Cortez is pretty up there—thank Farrah Fawcett for that one. Ever since the '70s superstar was photographed sporting the shoe while zipping past on a skateboard (you probably know the pic), the shoe rose to become a Nike bestseller.
Flash forward some decades and you’ve got major-model-of-the-moment Bella Hadid starring as the new face of the freshly relaunched Nike Cortez sneaker. Add to that Los Angeles fashion brand A.L.C. sending the sneaker down the runway along with their ready-to-wear collection, giving the shoe an extra high-fashion dimension and subsequently solidifying the shoe’s classic status among the fashion set.
What’s next for the Nike Cortez’s evolution, you ask? Hang on tight: an A.L.C. x Nike Cortez collaboration.
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The Cortez by A.L.C. collection comes as a limited-edition lineup of the classic sneaker, except this time reimagined by A.L.C.’s very own Andrea Lieberman into three different colorways with plush suede uppers, high shine brass hardware, and a touch of snakeskin for that extra pinch of luxe.
“One of my favorite details is one that is just for the wearer,” Lieberman shares with InStyle. “In each of the sock liners of the three shoes, there is one of our A.L.C. Way tenets—words we live by at A.L.C.—that also speak to the Nike women values: to ‘Love more,’ ‘Do it. Own it,’ and to ‘Think how you can.’
“I think this shoe represents individuality and personal style. It’s why we designed them to be tonal, so they could easily pair back to any look, and it’s also why we developed extra long laces to go with them—so the wearer can tie them around their ankles and really make them their own … The choice [to collaborate for the Nike Cortez] has always been an obvious one for me because the Cortez shares that ‘never not hustling’ spirit that defines both the Nike Cortez and A.L.C.”
In line with the collection’s design, the collaboration’s advertising campaign also highlights the “never not hustling” mentality by starring empowering female figures Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas and models Bhumika Arora and Cindy Bruna. “Gabby is a Nike athlete who embodies the ‘think how you can,’ ‘love more,’ and ‘do it. Own it,’ spirit of this campaign,” Lieberman shared. “She is perfect for Cortez by A.L.C., and it was an honor to feature her.”
When asked who the Cortez by A.L.C. collection was designed for, Lieberman’s response made it clear the collaboration was more just a design partnership. “From the Nike LA team to the Portland team to the ALC team, it was a room full of women running the show and we all wanted the Cortez by A.L.C. to speak to the needs of our lifestyle. Using the Cortez is more than just a stylistic choice—it represents a mindset. I believe that confidence, style, and comfort are not mutually exclusive. We are real women running our lives our way and that is what this collaboration represents.” If you ask us, that’s athleisure at its chicest.
Get a hold of the Cortez by A.L.C. collection in all Nordstrom x Nike sneaker boutiques and exclusively at Nordstrom The Grove starting Aug. 25, with the full launch coming this Aug. 28 at nike.com, select Nordstrom stores, alcltd.com, Net-a-Porter, and on the Nike SNKRS app. Retailing for $100, the collection is available in three colorways: Oil Grey, Light Orewood Brown, and Terra Blush.