Karrueche Tran On Repping L.A.
The model and actress talks about her home city and her favorite pieces in the new Jordan 23 Engineered collection.
Karrueche Tran isn’t just a model and actress, she’s a bonafide sneakerhead. It’s no secret that she has a deep and ever-growing collection that started during her youth in Los Angeles. Some of her fondest memories from those early days include copping coveted Air Jordans, with a highlight being the XI. As a teenager, she started working in retail and personal shopping, where she lent her sportswear-inspired style to others.
In her early 20s, Karrueche started taking acting more seriously and enrolled in classes to advance her craft. In just a few years, she began getting serious TV roles and hosting gigs. At the same time, she continued modeling, making her an in-demand presence on the screen, on magazine covers and on billboards, all at once.
Today, Karrueche remains committed to furthering her acting career and currently plays Virginia on the hit show, Claws. As documented on her Instagram, she’s equally committed to her fitness, her L.A. roots and lots of traveling and fashion week appearances, too.
Karrueche’s hustle and vision made her a perfect fit to rep the new Jordan 23 Engineered collection, one that combines sportswear silhouettes with the latest Jordan Brand apparel innovations. Like the hybrid collection, Karrueche has her eyes set on multiple industries and pushes herself to be better each day.
You’ve been a sneaker fan all your life and talked about begging your mom to buy you the Air Jordan XI Retro Bred. What was it about that shoe?
I remember they came out around Christmas when I was in middle school. There was all this hype about them. You know when you have your holiday break, and you come back to school? You have to be fresh. I remember those shoes were just “it.” They were the ones everyone had to have, and I just had to have them. I made [my mom] drive kind of far to get them. They’re a childhood staple for me. I have two pairs in my closet right now.
What are your favorite Air Jordans of all time?
My favorite silhouette is the Air Jordan I. It’s just classic to me.
You grew up between L.A. proper and the Valley, which has peak mall culture. How did growing up in these areas influence you?
Until the first half of my ninth grade year, I lived in Mid-City. I went to high school near Fairfax Ave., and it’s amazing to think that Fairfax and Melrose are so key to L.A. fashion now. I literally grew up in that environment, so it just inherently opened my eyes to more diverse cultures, styles and trends.
I will rep L.A. ‘til the day I die, because I love this city so much. People come here assuming it’s all about the Hollywood lifestyle, but it has grown and evolved so much. Growing with the city of L.A. made me who I am today.
“Growing with the city of L.A. made me who I am today.”
How would you say L.A. is part of your personal style?
I naturally have such a chill style. More often, I go for comfort — a tank top, jeans and sneakers, for example. When I go to places like New York, I definitely adapt by dressing up and layering.
Now, I bring in influences from everywhere I go, even if it’s just through accessorizing. Having visited different cities like Milan and Paris, I’m always expanding my style.
Would you say that L.A. also helped you become the chameleon you are today?
One thing L.A. has taught me is how to accept people for who they are. I grew up with a lot of diversity. My mother is Vietnamese, my father is black, my god-mom who helped raise me is Jamaican and my stepfather is from England. All of them had friends from all over the place, as well. That was normal to me, and it’s who I am. Living here helps you adapt in so many ways.
Jordan Brand has this mantra of “Own The City” right now. How else do you own the fact that you’re L.A. forever?
I’m always trying to explain that people from L.A. are dope as hell. They’re super chill, they’re creative and they’re just cool people. We’re down to earth. I make that clear with people who misconstrue the city, because of its various reputations. I will rep L.A. ‘til the end. I’ll live here forever and raise my kids here. L.A. is my city.
Do you have a favorite piece that you wore for the 23 Engineered campaign?
When I first saw the all-black Jordan Air Latitude 720 shoes, I was nervous, because I wasn’t sure how they’d look on me. I was pretty blown away when I put them on. I like that Jordan Brand has done a more modern twist on a basketball shoe. I also really liked the pairing of the white jacket and vest that has 23 around the neck. Not only do those pieces look cool, they feel very functional, as well. It just shows that Jordan Brand is pushing to make a line that’s sports-driven and comfortable but still fashion-forward.
Speaking of performance, you’re also vocal about the importance of health and wellness. How do you stay motivated?
I’m motivated by wanting the best for myself, especially as I get older. Taking care of my body helps me take care of who I am inside, too. I work out as much as possible to stay fit and toned. I also focus on herbal supplements and wellness shots, especially with all of my traveling. I’m just more conscious of what I put into my body. I don’t eat red meat, and I never drink sugary sodas or juices. I don’t eat fast food. I mainly drink water.
You’re passionate about so many different things. What’s next?
I will say that one thing on my bucket list is to have my own Air Jordan! That would be a fun adventure. Where I see my longevity is with acting. I’ve been acting for five years now, which sounds like a long time, but it’s not. I’m up against people who have been acting their whole lives, so I have a lot of catching up to do. I’ve been auditioning a lot and staying on top of my acting classes. I’m still on this journey — still finding out who I am, deciding what I want and digging deeper into my creativity and artistry, as well.
Just because I’m on a show that’s doing well, I can’t stop there. It’s like any other athlete out there. Just because they made it to a big team doesn’t mean they’re chilling and living the life. No, they work harder, they condition harder, they practice harder, and that’s where I’m at right now.
The Jordan 23 Engineered collection is available starting July 2019 on Jordan.com and at select retailers. The Jordan Air Latitude 720 “Black” is available starting August 1 on Jordan.com and at select retailers. The Jordan Air Latitude 720 “Fossil” is available starting August 22 on Jordan.com and at select retailers