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If athletic clothing ads are supposed to inspire you to move, then dancers might be the key to advertising for sportswear brands like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour.
Nike has enlisted FKA twigs, best known as a singer, for a campaign to promote its new Zonal Strength Tights. And the results are pretty damn gorgeous — the ad is basically our favorite new music video of 2017.
FKA twigs’ costars in the video are all athletes, including track and field star English Garnder and Olympic fencer Miles Chamley-Watson. But FKA twigs is officially the “creative director” of the campaign and ostensibly its most famous face.
Nike has signed a few non-athletes before. The company enlisted Kevin Hart in 2016 to create the “Hart” sneaker and recently unveiled running commercials. It’s also put actors like Chris Pine in viral ads and hired Bella Hadid for a campaign last fall.
But the decision to cast FKA twigs is reminiscent of Under Armour’s to sign Misty Copeland, effectively making the case for dance as a sport. Nike’s statement on the FKA twigs campaign says it “sheds light on the power of modern movement and defines sport as an important channel of expression. [...] Modern movement is about exploring any genre of sport without boundaries.”
In other words, dancing and moving your body in the incredible ways FKA twigs and her athlete costars do is no less athletic than other typical “sports.” Workout gear isn’t about sports, but moving around — which, if we’re being honest, is how most of us spend our time in our leggings.
As FKA twigs said in a statement, "I put together a cast of 12 incredible athletes to show that it's about what you do in fitness gear. It's about how you train. It's about how those things help your movement." Even if that movement is running to the grocery store or dancing like a maniac around your apartment.