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Fresh off the release of Under Armour’s latest C1N colorway, nicknamed the “Chairman,” we headed down to Charlotte where the inspiration for the colorway was born.

Cam Newton’s Carolina Panthers’ team colors may have been the driving force behind the classic blue, grey and black palette, but it’s the city of Charlotte and its locals that the shoe really speaks to, as well as Newton’s well-documented admiration for Frank Sinatra. Much like Sinatra did things his own way, Newton has taken the same approach with his career—both on and off the field. He’s been widely recognized for his off-field style sensibilities but he’s also a huge inspiration to kids who look up to him as both an athlete and role model.

To get a better sense of how the sneakers reflect Charlotte and its burgeoning streetwear scene, we headed down to the Queen City and chopped it up with locals to get their take on street culture and how their city shaped the way they approach their style.

As fashion has become more and more democratized with the advent of social media and publications such as the one you’re reading right now, more than ever it’s being used as an outlet to express individual style in a sea of copycat trends.

“I’ve always gravitated towards sneakers, but through being into sneakers, having friends who used to skate and listening to rap music, I eventually got into streetwear,” explains Aaron Long. “Now, it’s one way I like to express myself, it’s a great way to get creative.”

For young creative Jonathan McLean, representing Charlotte’s streetwear scene is something he doesn’t take lightly. “We have to set the example for those looking at us, and those who come after us. So our sense of style was always a ‘lead and never follow’ mentality,” explained McLean.

For both Long and McLean, the C1N is a sneaker that ticks all the right boxes: its sock-like fit and elastic straps at the forefoot and midfoot make the silhouette a fresh alternative for those looking to break out from the pack.

What’s more, the “Chairman” C1N truly speaks to local residents because of its roots to Newton and the NFL. “This shoe has a lot of significance to me as a Charlotte native,”explains Long. “The Carolina Panthers never had a franchise player, or quarterback of Cam Newton’s caliber before, and to be able to support his brand means a lot to me.”

Head over to Under Armour’s website to grab your very own pair of the “Chairman” C1N colorway now.

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