Nike's Epic Newest Campaign Star Is FKA Twigs

Photo: Courtesy of Nike.
As you're probably well aware, athleisure is still alive and well, but it's easy to run out of interesting ways to actually make those leggings and other Spandex-spiked workout gear look good beyond the gym. Luckily for us, Nike's newest ambassador is FKA Twigs, and she's giving us some major inspiration for truly unexpected and boundary-pushing ideas for styling all that athletic garb. The singer creative-directed, cast, and starred in the truly kickass campaign, dubbed "Believe In More," for the brand's new range of performance leggings, Zonal Strength tights. It'll make you see that iconic swoosh, and possibly activewear in general, in a completely fresh light.

The campaign video, which was styled by Matthew Josephs, features an eclectic range of 12 athletes and non-athletes cast by FKA Twigs, like karate pro Jay Kirton, dancer Saskia Horton, Olympic fencer Miles Chamley Watson, and yogi Paleta Clam-Quality. The singer's insane dance moves really shine in the two-minute video, and for good reason: She started dancing at age three, and was training in half a dozen different dance styles by the time she was seven years old, as she details in an open letter about her pair-up with Nike.

"People don't always see dancers as athletes, but we are," she writes in the letter. "Through dance and fitness, I’ve met young people who work really hard and have dedicated their lives to being physical...Overall, dance makes you realize that there’s beauty in the imperfections." FKA Twigs also has some sage words for those of us who aren't dance-inclined: "For me the dream is that you don't even realize you're working out," she writes. "You're just doing you, and then the results come, and you value them as they're happening." We can get behind that approach to working out.

Most of the eclectic crew in the film, featured above, is decked out in the brand's new Zonal Strength tights. The extremely compression-packed leggings, meant to reduce muscle vibrations, come in Zonal Strength Running and Zonal Strength Training iterations; you can snag a pair tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET. The British singer will continue working with Nike in some capacity beyond the Zonal Strength launch.

While Nike has often recruited professional athletes as the faces (and, perhaps most importantly, bodies) of its campaigns, the company has partnered with a handful of (athletically-inclined) celebs to rep its swoosh-festooned garb in recent years. Back in November, the sportswear giant tapped Bella Hadid as one of its campaign stars; other recent celeb ambassadors have included Kevin Hart and Ellie Goulding. Ahead, FKA Twigs fills us in on pairing up with Nike and her affinity for workout gear.

What was compelling to you about working with Nike?
"When Nike reached out to me about collaborating on this project, I saw it as an opportunity to inspire people who want to use their bodies in a positive way. We cast a group of amazing people who take their physicality seriously and have their own sense of style, to push people to be healthy and understand, through any genre of sport, they can be the best versions of themselves."

The amazing styling in the video isn't necessarily what someone would expect from a sportswear brand. How were you involved?
"Nike has nailed their look; I wanted to take the styling to a new and unexpected place and make sure everyone’s individual style and personality came through. Matthew Josephs, who styled the campaign, was able to tap into everybody's individual personalities and display them in such a real way.

"This is a great collection from Nike because there are so many things you can do with it within your own style, and Matthew made that come through in the campaign. Matthew loved creating this pop of the swoosh and Just Do It on every look. While sometimes you try to hide the logo for a brand, he wanted to the swoosh to be really pronounced; this is obvious particularly in the group dance scene."

As a dancer, what qualities do you look for in a really amazing pair of leggings or tights?
"For me, if I feel good and my body feels supported when I’m training, then I can always go harder. The tights support my muscles in the right way, which helps me go longer. I’ve always been a massive advocate for Nike; they have the most high-quality gear, and their fitness products work with you, not against you."

Athleisure has been a huge trend for the past few years. Are you a fan of wearing workout clothing when you're not exercising?
"Nike is an innovative brand that makes me feel like I have a secret determination that only I know about. I like wearing [workout clothes] as a base for any outfit."

Why do you think fitness and fashion are so entwined these days?
"People want to look good and express their style no matter where they are, even if that's in the gym or studio."

You have such unique personal style. Are there any unexpected places or people that inspire your fashion choices?
"I just wear what I want, really. I get ideas from being out and about; from seeing textures and colors in my everyday environment. My style isn't who I am; it just enhances my mood and my presence. Ultimately, I'm defined by what I do and who I am, not what I wear, and that allows me to be free."
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