ANTA and Kyrie Irving Unveil ANTA KAI 1 “Enlightened Warrior”

ANTA KAI 1 "Enlightened Warrior"

April 5, 2024 – Dallas, TX – ANTA officially reveals “The Enlightened Warrior,” the second colorway of the ANTA KAI 1. Inspired by ANTA Chief Creative Officer and global basketball icon Kyrie Irving’s ethos, the latest ANTA KAI 1 iteration is rooted in a foundation of symbolism, with each element representing the lifestyle and process of everything from the physical to the mental to the spiritual, derived from Irving’s lineage and heritage.


In a true collaboration between ANTA’s Design Director, Jared Subawon, Color Design Director, Shaneika Warden, and Senior Graphic Designer, Astin Davis, the trio tells the unique story of “The Enlightened Warrior,” marrying African American and Indigenous cultures to bring to light an authentically Irving sneaker.


“The diverse color combinations of ‘The Enlightened Warrior’ ANTA KAI 1 are a true representation of Kyrie,” Warden said. “He is multi-layered: an amazing athlete and a phenomenal human being off the court. He's a businessman and a creative thinker. We wanted to parallel that with our strategic use of color in this iteration.”


Mirroring the initial ANTA KAI 1 colorway launched in February, purple remains Irving’s beacon. Representing mysticism and magic in African culture, purple validates that he's on the right path. Adding additional symbolism to the overarching color strategy, red represents strength, yellow for speed, green for focus, and purple for agility.


“Purple is trending to be a massive color in 2025, so having that insight and personal connectivity to the color from our Chief Creative Officer is already leading within the industry,” Warden added. When Kyrie came on board, the idea was to shake things up in the industry and be disruptive in an unexpected way. We are doing that already in such a short time but are only getting started.”


The darker tones - specifically the black imprint – allow the pop colors to sing from near and far – on the court, in an arena, or on a television broadcast. “It’s obvious when Kyrie is on the court, he is like a highlighter,” Subawon said. “The bright colors – representing so much for him as a man and a basketball player – can be seen at a distance and, with his speed of play, are as if he is turning into the Enlightened Warrior himself on the court.”


The heel graphic, hieroglyphic alphabet, “master your craft” statement, and war marks—which add up to Irving’s jersey number 11—speak to his fans to tell a true tribal story. They double down on the theme of going into battle, further representing all aspects and qualities of Irving’s game.


“The black-and-white patterns on the shoes are different from one another to speak to the duality and paradoxical qualities that bring harmony to the Enlightened Warrior story,” Davis said. Incorporating esoteric symbolism while balancing it with exoteric patterns brought the complexity of this graphic story together perfectly.”


The ANTA KAI 1 “The Enlightened Warrior” retails for $125 and is available in sizes 8 to 15. It will be available on April 12th at 11 am CT via, Sneaker Politics, Extra Butter, Nice Kicks, and Kicks Crew. We are also introducing a new retailer partner, Sneaker Room.


About ANTA

ANTA is committed to innovation, inclusivity, and the continuous pursuit of athletic footwear and apparel excellence. With a global presence and a deep respect for diverse talents and stories, ANTA empowers athletes everywhere.