A number of Olympic-themed collections have been rolled out this summer, but H&M’s For Every Victory collection, which drops tomorrow, is particularly inspiring. In honour of the line, H&M created a six-minute film featuring one of the collection’s campaign stars, Caitlyn Jenner, and shared it exclusively with Refinery29. (The former Olympian was tapped in March as the face of H&M Sport; it's her first fashion campaign.) In the video, titled Caitlyn Jenner’s Greatest Victories: A Timeline, she talks through major moments of triumph throughout life, starting in 1960.
The poignant video starts off with Jenner’s struggles with dyslexia, gender-identity issues, and “terrible low self esteem” in the fifth grade — and a particularly pivotal moment in gym class, in which Jenner first discovered her exceptional physical prowess (this is a future Olympic decathlon gold medalist we’re talking about, after all). Jenner continues, pretty candidly, by reflecting on the experience of sharing her desires to transition with her first wife in 1972: “She was kind of shocked, as most people are, but for me, it was the most freeing moment, ever.”
Also covered in the film: Jenner’s 1976 Olympic win, both the intense sense of accomplishment and how being an athlete functioned as a crutch at times (“Sports was always this wonderful diversion from myself and who I was.”). Jenner also talks about the unparalleled joy of becoming a parent in 1978 — and shares that the best use of an Olympic medal was as the coolest “show and tell” item for kids to bring in to school. (We can only imagine...) Other moments chronicled include Jenner’s decision in 1984 to transition; finding happiness by meeting Kris Jenner on a blind date in 1991; Caitlyn and Kris coming up with the idea to do a reality show in 2007 (inspired by watching The Osbournes); and the 2015 Vanity Fair shoot with Annie Leibovitz.
The campaign also stars Chelsea Werner, a Special Olympics gymnast with Down syndrome; Cuba’s sole female boxer, Namibia Flores, and surfer Mike Coots (pictured above) who lost his leg during a shark attack. The For Every Victory collection was designed with input from the Swedish Olympic team and includes sleek, colour blocked pieces in black with accents of grey, gold, and pale pink. Prices range from £6.99 to £39.99 for the women’s items while the men’s pieces range from £14.99 to £39.99. The fast fashion retailer also whipped up uniforms for the Swedish Olympic and Paralympic teams to wear at this year’s games in Rio, but those aren’t for sale, alas. Check out the full video, below.