Klarna, ‘Stitch Gawd' presents Benny the Bull with custom shoes

Klarna, ‘Stitch Gawd' presents Benny the Bull with custom shoes originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Emma McKee, aka the "Stitch Gawd" and Don C paired with Klarna, an all-in-one shopping service partnered with the Chicago Bulls, to present Benny the Bull with a custom pair of shoes.

The sneakers are an ode to the Bulls and the city of Chicago, with nods to the late ‘80s/’90s Chicago Bulls and the original Chicago Stadium stitched in throughout. At the Bulls game on Tuesday, Feb. 27, the designers will present Benny the Bull with his limited-edition sneakers during a game break.

The shoes represent a tribute to the city, the original Chicago Stadium and the history that was made within the arena, with three stripes on each side to represent the first three NBA Championships won within that building. In addition to the stripes, McKee built in four stars on each shoe to represent Chicago, stitched “1929” and “1994” into the pull tabs to represent the years the stadium was built and torn down, and chose red as the shoe’s color in a tribute to Benny himself. The four key elements are also a nod back to Klarna’s signature Pay in Four feature.

“I’m thrilled to partner with Klarna and design a shoe for Chicago’s most iconic mascot, Benny The Bull,” said McKee. “I love the city of Chicago and being able to create a shoe that’s a tribute to the city and represents the nostalgia of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s Bulls was such a great experience. The Benny shoes have all sorts of nods to the Chicago Stadium - namely, the original Benny The Bull shoes were all red, and so are these (with a hint of Klarna pink, of course). And the four gold stars are of course for the city of Chicago.”

Emma McKee, known as “The Stitch Gawd,” is Chicago’s preeminent “hip-hop cross-stitcher,” curating cross-stitch designs for musicians and artists including SZA, Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar, as well as several athletes.

This is the third consecutive year that Klarna has partnered with a Chicago creative to design special edition sneakers for the Bulls’ iconic mascot, previously collaborating with Chuck Anderson and Don C.

“I’m thrilled to pass on this design project to my friend Emma ‘The Stitch Gawd,’” said Don C. “We both share a passion for design and for the city of Chicago, so this is the perfect project for us both. I can’t wait for Bulls fans to see the nostalgic shoe design she’s put together - I even used it as inspiration for the fourth iteration of my poster series with the Bulls.”

For the 2023/24 NBA season, Don C designed four limited-edition, collectible posters that fans can get exclusively through shopping with Klarna "Smoooth Delivery" at the United Center, a service curated by Klarna and the Bulls, that allows fans to shop select items via the Klarna app during games and have it delivered directly to their seat.

At the February 27 game, fans will have the chance to receive the fourth poster installment in this series, created for this event and inspired by “The Stitch Gawd’s” shoe design. Fans who sit in the Klarna section that evening will receive a custom Benny The Bull t-shirt designed by “The Stitch Gawd” so that they can take home a piece of the evening with them. They will also have the chance to receive a surprise delivery from Don C himself, who will bring one lucky fan their order, the custom t-shirt and the limited-edition poster to their seat. All fans at the game are also invited to activate Klarna Concierge in the concourse, which will offer them unique items and signed memorabilia with proof of a Klarna account.

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