This year’s fashion week presentations across the “big four” cities (New York, London, Milan and Paris) were ripe with natural hair, plus-sized models and unconventional beauty. The diverse selection of models showed the fashion industry’s efforts towards diversity after a long history of criticism for their lack thereof.
When Kanye West debuted his Yeezy Season 5 collection during New York Fashion Week, model Halima Aden had the entire world (specifically the fashion industry) shook when she proudly sashayed down the Yeezy runway adorned in her hijab.
In recent months, brands have joined the movement towards diversity in fashion like Aerie, who launched their Share Your Spark campaign last year, highlighting women of all different shapes, sizes and races to encourage body positivity.
Nike, who has long celebrated women through its advertisements, announced its newest and highly-anticipated product—a performance hijab—taking the sportswear retailer a step further in the journey to inclusivity.
Below, her sweat. looks at some of the innovative ways Nike has championed women’s empowerment in the past.
Nike Unlimited Pursuit
2016 was the year female athletes ran the world. The Nike “Unlimited Pursuit” campaign celebrated female Olympians, namely Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Allyson Felix, Elena Delle Donne and Serena Williams. These sheroes who inspired the world with their performances during the 2016 Olympics in Rio were enlisted for the Nike campaign because they “push their own limits to embark on an unlimited journey and to empower the next generation of athletes,” Nike said in a statement on their official site. “Recovering from setbacks, losses and injury, rising from obscurity and destroying obstacles to claim victory, they command the spotlight and inspire Nike to innovate to match their strength and their dreams.”
The Force Is Female
When it comes to ad campaigns, Nike’s no amateur. For “The Force Is Female” campaign, we’re introduced to content creators, models and bloggers who have utilized social media to build a brand and career. The brand tapped the likes of content creators from New York City to Los Angeles including YouTube gurus Alyssa Forever and Zolee, models Janae Roubleau and Kalysse Anthony to dancer/choreographer Catalina Paz as well as Alexis Quintero, celebrating the women who are carve out their own path and challenge others to do the same. The photo series was shot by up-and coming photographers, New York City native Renell Medrano and L.A. rep Ro.lexx.
Launched in 2015, #BetterForIt aimed “to inspire women to be active, take on new challenges and conquer personal goals.” The campaign encourages women—athletic or not—to achieve their full potential whether you’ve signed up for your first yoga class or you’re a seasoned fitness junkie. Nike even branched out and created a YouTube scripted series around the #BetterForIt campaign titled Margot vs. Lily, which centers on two sisters with completely different interests (one sister is a fitness enthusiast while the other sister is a socialite).
Nike’s Plus Size Collection
Though one of the leading athletic wear retailers, Nike was once missing a product line that catered to one of the most underrepresented markets in fashion. When Nike announced its new plus size collection earlier this month, curvy girls everywhere rejoiced because gone are the days of unflattering, boxy workout clothes from lazy retailers who aren’t hip to the fact that not everyone’s a size 0. The lookbook stars models Paloma Elsesser, Grace Victory and Naomi Shimada and shows off the collection, designed for sizes 1X-3X.
happy international women’s day to all my hunz around the world! you make me beyond proud to be a woman! now more than ever we must love + support our sisters and get organised to be the change we want to see out here IRL. true sisterhood is not just another fad or some buzzword it’s a way of life. there’s just no way I’d be here if it wasn’t for the love + support of all the magical women who play a major part in just helping me function on a daily basis. just because I tend to smile through this life does not mean that I don’t suffer through my own trials + tribulations constantly but you all inspire me so much + give me the strength to pick myself up and keep trying. damn life is tough but you are not alone we are out here learning together – I honestly have no idea what I’m doing 99% of the time! never forget we are the heartbeat that makes the world go round! if you see me in these streets come give me a hug ❤️
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Nike Debuts Performance Hijab
Nike is well aware of its impact on the sports and fashion world. After releasing a plus-size collection, the sportswear titan is expanding its reach to Muslim women. For its latest product, Nike developed a performance hijab called the Nike Pro Hijab for Muslim athletes which features light and breathable, mesh fabric. Zahra Lari, a figure skater and Muslim, fronts Nike’s newest campaign.