(FKA twigs x Nike — do you believe in more?— 2017)

NikeWomen released online its new campaign on January 11, 2017 to showcase its new Spring Zonal Strength Tights. The advertisement is a music video directed by the UK artist FKA Twigs entitled « Do You Believe In More? » featuring the song « Trust In Me ». FKA Twigs worked as creative director, mastermind, singer, dancer, caster and director. The two-minute-short film, produced by A+/Academy, was shot around Mexico City with twelve original athletes. This advertisement shows empowered women who are sportive, who succeed in their respective fields and who are feminine.

Since Title IX was enacted in 1972, women’s sports have grown considerably — famous athletes like Serene Williams or Hope Solo have been able to practice, play, fight and win. Before the seventies, women in sports were marginalized and did not have the right to receive federal funding. Today, there are still a lot of issues to overcome (discrimination, stereotype, etc) but women can and want to prove they can succeed in sports too. Even though the athletes are wearing sexy Nike outfits, they have pre-conceived masculine attributes — strong body with big muscles. FKA Twigs not only casted women to wear NikeWomen’s collection, but three men are part of the team too. The range of gender identities is accepted in today’s U.S society; if a man like Chester Marthinus in this ad wears women’s clothes and dance with them, it is socially accepted. Men’s presence in this short movie isn’t obvious as two of them, Marthinus and Kirton, have long dark hair. Jay Kirton practices meditation both in real life and in the ad — in 2017, meditation has become a huge trend according to experts interviewed for Forbes Magazine. The advertisement shows only one easily distinguishable man, Miles Chamley-Watson, an Olympic fencer; he has short blond hair and is shirtless wearing white tights. In « Do You Believe In More », Miles is fighting using a sword against a woman. This woman, Saskia Horton who’s a classical violin player as well as a karate pro, is not fighting with a weapon but with the bow of her violin — her knowledge and her skills. This combat has a lot of meaning, the black usually used to represent the dark, masculine and powerful side is worn by women while the men are dressed in white, a color which represent the angelic figure. In real it is a fight opposing Miles’ and Saskia’s expertise. The casting and the visuals of the film illustrate the lyrics « Ever since I was young I knew that I was special, I ached to succeed […] » This ad shows empowered people who succeed through hard work and willingness to achieve their goals. Twigs said « Modern movement means exploring any genre of sport without boundaries. […] Modern movement is the culture of expression of strength, power, courage, will, and confidence. » This unique, sexy and powerful ad was made by a woman for women. It expresses a will to inspire women to train while staying feminine.

The whole crew who worked on the campaign is young and talented. The photograph David Uzochukwu who shot the stills for the campaign is seventeen and the stylist Matthew Josephs is in his twenties as well as the twelve dancers. They all look different in terms of ethnicities and styles. FKA Twigs has « […] created something that’s genuinely by and about young people who work hard […] and who, together, feel that they can be successful. » Nowadays, the Millennials (generation born between 1981–2000) represent roughly 80 millions of Americans who are the largest group of the US civilian workforce and who « are the most racially diverse generation in U.S history. » This campaign gives advantage to young artists in the conception and realization of a music-video. Their fresh views on the world resulted into a campaign featuring a wide range of ethnicities, different personalities, gender identities and interests. They have one thing in common: the rage to succeed. Following the idea of diversity, FKA Twigs mixed two opposites concepts within her video: a tribal mood (face paint, overall style and decor) and a very modern and minimal collection. The campaign was shot in a natural environment; the young crew respected the space. Climate change raises questions and this generation takes this issue seriously — according to a poll commissioned by the Clinton Global Initiative and Microsoft, « Millennials say they are more focused on the environment than their parents’ generation, 76% to 24%. » For this campaign, FKA Twigs chose not to touch, change or add anything to the natural space.

The concept of advertising a collection through a music-video is quite new. The artists Kanye West and Sia worked on a music video with the director Steven Klein for Balmain in July 2016, and in January 2017 FKA Twigs released a music-video campaign for Nike. Nowadays, every creative fields are interconnected. When people are selling music, they also sell a style. And when they sell a clothing collection, they sell a song. Above everything, they are selling stories that the society is ready (or not) to listen to.

Bibliography

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