Lifting the lid that displays an animation of her face, 10-year-old Paris LaCour pulls from the box a pair of designer-made high-top sneakers colored in homage to Louisiana State University and crafted with top-of-the-line Italian leather. She is the designer - the designer of a shoe line that in two months has generated a cool $10,000.
A familiar silhouette greets the eyes as the pair is taken from the box. Modeled in the fashion of the classic Converse Chuck Taylor All Star, LaCour’s sneakers offer a more solidly built version of the original.
LaCour's mother, Donna Parker realized when LaCour was a toddler how much the young designer fancied the Converse classic.
“I can’t really remember buying nothing but a Converse shoe for her,” said of the All Star, which LaCour still ranks as her favorite sneaker.
That affection for the prolific sneaker is a commonality between LaCour and her godmother, Debbie Grelewicz, who Paris said is the first person she “randomly” saw wearing her sneakers.
“It made me so happy,” LaCour said with a huge smile.
The sighting wasn’t so random. It was a family function and Grelewicz was already planning an outfit that matched the purple in the sneakers.
“I made sure everyone was going to see me because I was coordinated that day,” Grelewicz said, adding no one could deny how cool the sneakers were as she strutted out of the car.
The name of LaCour’s sneakers – an anadrome of Paris – is placed on the outside of the sneakers. The price tag placed on the inaugural Sirap is $194.
Siraps are manufactured by hand in Le Marche, Italy, with the assistance of Alive Shoes, which platforms sneaker design by allowing users who sell seven pre-orders to colorway and brand a silhouette that is then individually stitched in one of Italy’s most famous shoemaking communities.
Packaging and manufacturing come at a price that LaCour hopes to one day cut from expenses. Her grandmother has always sewn clothes, creating looks for Parker and her siblings. Parker remembers this sparking her own interest in fashion. Similarly, LaCour is interested in learning to sew so she can dictate all aspects of her creative output.
$2,000 worth of the shoes were bought by Bishop Lawrence Brandon of Shreveport church Praise Temple.
LaCour is close to hitting the sales benchmark Alive Shoes has placed for her. The company will elevate LaCour’s brand through new photoshoots and more expensive marketing once she has sold 50. Her mom says she’s currently at 48.
LaCour already has ideas for new sneakers and would like to design a sweater or t-shirt next.
LaCour hopes to study a scientific field at LSU one day.
The inside of each Sirap comes with lasting words from Paris: "Never give up because great things take time."
Kendrick Dante is a Government Watchdog Reporter in Shreveport. You can find him on Facebook as Kendrick Dante. Twitter @kendrickdante
This article originally appeared on Shreveport Times: Paris LaCour designer sneakers inspired by LSU and Converse All Star