The Nike KD 15 Aunt Pearl is a special edition basketball shoe that pays tribute to Kevin Durant’s late aunt, who passed away due to lung cancer in 2000. This shoe holds a special place in Durant’s heart as it not only represents his love for his aunt but also serves as a reminder of the importance of giving back to the community.
The Inspiration Behind the Design
The KD 15 Aunt Pearl was first introduced in 2012 and has since become an annual release in honor of Durant’s late aunt. The design of the shoe is inspired by the pink floral pattern on the robe that Durant’s aunt used to wear during her chemotherapy treatments. The color pink also symbolizes breast cancer awareness. With a portion of the proceeds from the sales of the shoe going towards the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
The Meaning Behind the Name “Aunt Pearl”
Durant’s aunt, Pearl, was more than just a family member to him. She was his biggest supporter and played a significant role in his life. Especially during his early years as a basketball player. She was the one who introduced him to the game and encouraged him to pursue his dreams. The nickname “Aunt Pearl” was given to her by Durant’s grandmother, and it stuck with her ever since.
The Evolution of the KD Aunt Pearl Collection
Since its debut in 2012, the KD Aunt Pearl collection has evolved and grown in popularity among sneaker enthusiasts. Each year, Nike releases a new version of the shoe, with different colorways and designs, but always keeping the pink floral pattern as a tribute to Durant’s aunt. The collection has expanded beyond just basketball shoes, with apparel and accessories also being released under the Aunt Pearl theme.
The Features of the KD 15 Aunt Pearl
The Nike KD 15 Aunt Pearl features a pink and black colorway, with the floral pattern covering the entire upper of the shoe. The Nike swoosh is in black, along with the laces and midsole. The outsole is translucent pink, giving the shoe a unique and eye-catching look. The shoe also includes Durant’s signature logo on the tongue and his jersey number “35” on the heel.
Performance and Comfort
Apart from its sentimental value, the KD 15 Aunt Pearl is also known for its performance and comfort. The shoe is designed for basketball players, with a lightweight and breathable upper that provides support and stability on the court. The Zoom Air technology in the midsole offers responsive cushioning, making it easier for players to make quick movements and cuts.
Although designed for basketball, the KD 15 Aunt Pearl can also be worn as a casual shoe. Its stylish design and comfortable fit make it suitable for everyday wear. The shoe is available in both men’s and women’s sizes, making it accessible to a wider audience.
The Release Date and Colorways
The KD 15 Aunt Pearl is usually released in February, which is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the release date for the 2021 version was pushed back to April. The shoe is available for purchase on the Nike website and select retailers.
Over the years, the KD Aunt Pearl collection has featured various colorways, each with its own unique design and meaning. Some of the notable colorways include:
- KD 6 Aunt Pearl (2014) – Pink, blue, and white colorway with a butterfly design on the heel, representing transformation and hope.
- KD 7 Aunt Pearl (2015) – Pink and gold colorway with a rose pattern on the upper, symbolizing love and beauty.
- KD 8 Aunt Pearl (2016) – Pink and black colorway with a floral pattern on the heel, representing strength and resilience.
- KD 9 Aunt Pearl (2017) – Pink and white colorway with a cherry blossom design on the upper, symbolizing life and renewal.
- KD 10 Aunt Pearl (2018) – Pink, black, and white colorway with a pearl-inspired design on the heel, representing wisdom and purity.
- KD 11 Aunt Pearl (2019) – Pink and black colorway with a butterfly pattern on the upper, symbolizing transformation and hope.
FAQs About the KD 15 Aunt Pearl
What is the Kay Yow Cancer Fund?
The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is a charitable organization that supports scientific research for women’s cancers and provides grants to organizations that assist in the fight against cancer. It was founded by a former North Carolina State University women’s basketball coach. Kay Yow passed away due to breast cancer in 2009.
How much of the proceeds from the sales of the KD 15 Aunt Pearl go towards the Kay Yow Cancer Fund?
Nike donates a portion of the proceeds from the sales of the KD 15 Aunt Pearl to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. The exact amount varies each year, but it is usually a significant contribution towards the fund’s efforts.
Are there any other ways to support the Kay Yow Cancer Fund?
Apart from purchasing the KD 15 Aunt Pearl, you can also make direct donations to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund through their website. You can also participate in various fundraising events and initiatives organized by the fund.
Is the KD 15 Aunt Pearl only available in men’s sizes?
No, the KD 15 Aunt Pearl is available in both men’s and women’s sizes. Making it accessible to all sneaker enthusiasts.
Will there be a new version of the KD Aunt Pearl collection next year?
There has been no official announcement from Nike about the release of a new version of the KD Aunt Pearl collection in 2022. However, given its popularity and significance, it is highly likely that the tradition will continue.
The Nike KD 15 Aunt Pearl is more than just a basketball shoe. It is a symbol of love, strength, and hope, paying tribute to Kevin Durant’s late aunt and supporting a worthy cause. Its unique design and performance features make it a must-have for sneaker collectors and basketball players alike. With each release, the KD Aunt Pearl collection continues to honor the memory of Aunt Pearl and inspire others to give back to their communities.