4 streetwear designers reinvent Nike’s football jersey for women
Image credits: Courtesy of Nike
What does fashion’s take on the football jersey look like? Ambush’s Yoon Ahn, Koché’s Christelle Kocher, MadeMe’s Erin Magee and Marine Serre have all put their designer spin on the functional garment, in collaboration with Nike.
Rather than dressing it up, these street style stalwarts – enlisted by Nike to design lifestyle collections to coincide with the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 (June 7 to July 7) – have gone back to the drawing board and paid tribute to the unifying power of sport.
“We take pride in standing up for our values and empowering women to have an equal opportunity in sport,” says Rosemary St. Clair, VP and GM of Nike Women. “[Nike has] over 40 years of championing the world’s largest community of female athletes – like Joan Benoit Samuelson, Serena Williams and Caster Semenya – on and off the field of play. Today, we are more committed than ever to use our brand as a catalyst – celebrating athletes, supporting sports and building the best product for her.”
Here, speaks to each of the four fashion designers about their concepts behind the collection, their favourite pieces and the power of sport.
Ambush’s Yoon Ahn
“I wanted to create a universal piece for everyone to celebrate in,” says the Korean-American designer of her take on the jersey-turned-coat, teamed with a bra top, sported by Japanese footballer Risa Shimizu.
“I was inspired by the coat – a traditional Japanese, straight-sleeved coat, usually worn to festivals,” says Ahn. “Although we are celebrating the World Cup and the incredible female players, I believe it is just as important for the fans, for everyone – old, young, women and men.”
As well as highlighting the importance of diversity and culture, there’s a secret message in the jersey, too. “My Nike x AMBUSH® jersey has an inner pride message that reads: ‘Make each game your masterpiece.’ That’s exactly how I feel.”
The LVMH Prize-winner’s signature half-moon print comes together with the Nike swoosh, forming the base of her capsule favourite: a jersey-turned-dress, teamed with a printed bodysuit. “I loved the idea of a garment that is adapted to the body that it dresses,” says the French designer. “So I concentrated on the natural shape of a woman’s body, allowing enough space for movement.”
Modelled by Adwoa Aboah, the bodysuit is screen printed using reflective ink, marrying form and function. “It is aesthetically a feat; and answers the functional demands of running in the dark or among traffic,” Serre explains. “I really like to do things like that – reusing archetypical references, in this case of sports garments, like reflective print, the tracksuit running archive and the construction in this piece – and then really transform and reorient the way they are approached.”
Koché’s Christelle Kocher
Kocher’s dress and matching bra, crafted using the sportswear brand’s technical fabrics, are firm favourites thanks to their ease and energy. “I created this dress by reconstructing the soccer jersey around the female body, adding some very feminine elements, like lace, to sporty codes,” says the Paris-based designer.
“The idea was to give the feeling of movement and positive energy,” she adds of the design, worn by French footballer Marie-Antoinette Katoto. “It is a dress that can be worn by a girl who plays, dances or moves in the city.”
MadeMe’s Erin Magee
Working with the United States women’s national soccer team (USWNT) crest was central to New York-based Magee’s design. “My first thought was I wanted this jersey to be sport first, fashion second. It’s meant to celebrate the incredible, victorious history of the USWNT, by drawing attention to the woman namesake of the iconic sportswear company itself: Nike, goddess of victory.”
As seen on American footballer Mallory Pugh, the jersey is based on the pitch-ready silhouette we all know and recognise, while Nike’s Classic Swoosh bra provided further inspiration, with both pieces crafted from Nike’s signature Dri-FIT technology. “This is a jersey that can be worn on and off the field; it’s true to sport and function. And it is the first time MadeMe has ever designed piece that can be worn at the highest level of play.”