One of the most popular Spring 2020 trends is sneakers styled with every dressy item in your wardrobe. And for kicks that pair seamlessly with maxis, skirts, and even suits, style aficionados are turning to Keds. To capture their latest moment in the zeitgeist, the beloved sneaker brand recruited children's boutique founder Nina Westbrook and production company head Alana Mayo to take part in the re-imagination of its century-old handbook series. First published back in the 1920s, the original handbooks encouraged young women to exert their independence at a time when their perceived roles in society were limited. Today, the updated version — geared toward women of all ages — gives them the chance to tell their own stories in their own words. And those stories, of course, revolve around style.
As a young mom, Westbrook aimed to create a wardrobe that’s representative of her personality, but one that can also get a little down and dirty if need be. “I definitely have placed more of an emphasis on functionality,” she shares, noting that she's been wearing Keds since she was a child. “I only wear hands-free bags, clothes that I can comfortably get on the ground if I need to, or pick toddlers off of the ground who may have just completed throwing a tantrum. I still love to be stylish and chic, but in a more functional way.”
For Mayo, life as a film executive could mean an endless rotation of drab, uninspiring suits. But as a creative at heart, she spared herself a future filled with coordinating blazers and tailored trousers.
“I’ve never felt comfortable wearing ‘power suits,’ even when I worked in a corporate environment,” Mayo shares. “What makes me feel most powerful is wearing clothes that make me feel like my authentic self. I love following trends and taking fashion inspiration from women and men alike.”
What she doesn’t love? Dressing for warm weather. “I’m a fall girl who loves knits, layers, and coats,” Mayo says. “But I’m also not a person who wears color often, and I’m loving the trend of neutral suits and separates. I also love that leather, particularly of the faux sort, is in for spring. I’m wearing a vegan croc mini dress today.”
For Mayo's look book photo, she paired Keds with a stylish printed wrap dress, an outfit combo that will be ubiquitous this Spring. But trends aside, the sneakers are a mainstay in her wardrobe, she says. “My good friend taught me to ride a bike when I was five. I was wearing Keds then and for many years after. Running through my neighborhood with friends. Seeing films that would inspire me to pursue my current career. It’s been so fun to wear them in adulthood — it always reminds me of these formative moments in my childhood.”
While Mayo is gravitating toward neutrals, pastels and colorful prints are on Westbrook’s springtime style radar.
“I never used to be a huge fan of lots of color, but now I like to mix it up and dress a little brighter when that’s how I’m feeling,” Westbrook shares. “Denim shorts, graphic tees, and sneakers also become a huge part of my wardrobe in the spring. There is something so cool and sexy about a woman that can feel confident rocking a comfy pair of sneakers.”