Nike is ensuring that when the handful of women’s national football teams will take to the pitch in Paris for the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup in France, all eyes will be on the players. On Monday, the sportswear giant unveiled the striking kits the athletes will be wearing come June, bringing together more than 40 of the world’s top female athletes, including champion fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles to the French capital.
Australia, Nigeria, the United States, and England were among the 14 nations whose kits were unveiled at Monday’s Paris event. The bespoke kits, which mark the first time that female athletes get their own uniforms instead of sharing the same designs as their male counterparts, were showcased with a little help from a lineup of game-changing women including hijabi boxer Zeina Nassar and veiled, Algerian model Feriel Moulaï. “We believe this summer can be another turning point for the growth of women’s football,” shares Nike chairman, president, and CEO Mark Parker in a press statement.
The innovative uniforms are a result of three-years of research. Crafted out of Nike’s VaporKnit fabric, the kits have been re-engineered to fit the female athlete’s physique using Nike’s 3D body-mapping and motion capture technology. Meanwhile, Nike’s commitment to sustainability and efforts to lower their environmental impact ensured that each kit is composed of at least 14 recycled plastic bottles that were then melted down to create a yarn. “Nike’s commitment is to continue our leading support of competitive athletes, invest in the next generation at the grassroots level and deliver more innovative and compelling product design for women,” explained Parker.
There’s also an element of giving back, because as Parker says “Our bigger ambition is for that energy and participation to extend into all sports.” Thus, with the aim to expand female access to sport, Nike announced partnerships with UEFA Women’s Football, the WNBA, Chinese Basketball Association, in addition to 200 universities scattered throughout the United States. Indeed, when it comes to empowering women, Nike continues to just do it.