In an exclusive Chica interview with Princess Nokia last month, we asked the rising star a sartorial question about her on-stage style and how it differed from her daily look. The “For the Night” rapper gave a telling answer that revealed the core of her artistic sensibility: I try not to get overly glam. I have the spirit of a Gigi Allin,” she says referring to the controversial punk rocker whose onstage antics earned him notoriety. “Although I love to live for a glam moment, I don’t care about looking perfect, and I’m okay with going on stage with no makeup or styling. Some people would be very vulnerable or uncomfortable like that — but that’s what being Princess Nokia is about. Being able to have the balls to go out and do anything no matter how I look.”
So when Foot Locker and ASICS, two giant footwear brands from the U.S. and Japan respectively, reached out to Princess Nokia to participate in their upcoming anime-meets-hip-hop campaign, she jumped at the opportunity, especially since it would help her expand beyond music. “I found that I was in my element. I’m a big anime and cartoon fan — so I felt that there were all these beautiful aspects of my life artistically that happened to all come together for me,” she said.
The collaboration also appealed the singer’s feminist-activist roots who is known for generating Instagram posts that address misogyny. Essentially, Footlocker and ASICS co-created “Welcome to the Dojo,” a capsule collection that included urban-inspired apparel and footwear. To launch the campaign they tapped the legendary New York City advertising agency BBDO and the London-based illustration-animation studio, Shotopop, to produce a five-episode anime series titled, “The Sun and the Snake.” The ‘Welcome to the Dojo’ Pack taps into ASICS’ Japanese heritage, which inspired the series and curated assortment of this collection,” said Sarah Bishop, Vice President of Marketing ASICS America Corporation in a press release.
“The Sun and the Snake” tells the story of a samurai hero who enters the “Dojo,” a training space for martial arts. The hero is on a quest to recover his stolen ASICS GEL-Lyte sneakers that were taken from him while he was in a training session. The lead character “Sneaker Samurai” will be played by model and actor Luka Sabbat, alongside recording artists Princess Nokia as “Kiku” and YFN Lucci as “Ghost Samurai.” Each episode will be available on Foot Locker’s Instagram and YouTube channels, the first episode will premiere on August 21st. Each episode will also be shoppable, letting viewers purchase the “Welcome to the Dojo” pack.
The “Welcome to the Dojo” capsule collection seen above will be available exclusively on August 24 at Foot Locker retailers including Footaction and Champs Sports.