Klarna, the AI-powered global payments network and shopping assistant, unveils its latest collaboration with Chicago-based designer Emma “The Stitch Gawd” McKee. In partnership with the legendary Chicago Bulls, Klarna announces McKee as the designer of a special edition sneaker for the Bulls’ mascot, Benny The Bull. This initiative is part of Klarna’s ongoing partnership with the Bulls as their official shopping partner.

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McKee, known for her work with Chicago icons like Chance the Rapper, will present the sneakers to Benny at The Bulls’ February 27 home game against the Detroit Pistons. The design pays homage to Chicago’s rich history, with elements representing the original Chicago Stadium and the city’s NBA championship wins. Klarna’s signature “Pay in Four” feature is also incorporated into the design.

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.”


The announcement marks the third consecutive year of Klarna’s collaboration with a Chicago creative for the Bulls’ mascot sneakers. Previous collaborations include Chuck Anderson and Don C. As part of the festivities, fans at the game will have the opportunity to receive limited-edition posters and custom Benny The Bull t-shirts. Additionally, select fans will receive surprise deliveries from Don C himself.

The Stitch Gawd also created a t-shirt for the Bulls, worn by guard Ayo Dosunmo upon arena arrival.

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“We’re excited to partner with ‘The Stitch Gawd’ on another exciting Benny The Bull sneaker collaboration,” said Megan Gokey, Head of B2C Marketing in North America and the United Kingdom, Klarna. “Her design is a nod to the history of the Bulls and the iconic Chicago Stadium, a place Chicago sports fans made memories for decades. In our partnership with the Bulls, Klarna is always looking to boost the fan experience and make shopping smoother within the United Center, and I think we’ve done just that in our third iteration of sneakers for Benny. From shopping with Klarna Smoooth Delivery to the chance to receive a surprise delivery from Don C, fans have a lot of exciting activity to look forward to at the February 27 game.”

“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.”

Emma McKee, also known as “The Stitch Gawd,” is celebrated for her cross-stitch designs for musicians, artists, and athletes. Raised in Kansas City, McKee has established herself as a prominent figure in Chicago’s music, sports, and entertainment community.

Klarna continues to demonstrate its commitment to Chicago and its vibrant creative scene through initiatives like these, fostering connections between art, sports, and commerce.