Last September, Virgil Abloh debuted his latest Nike collab — Nike c/o Virgil Abloh ‘Athlete in Progress’ — on the runway with actual athletes, including sprinters Dina Asher Smith and English Gardner.
“I started talking with Nike about this women’s running project last summer and at the time, I was very much inspired by the aesthetic and style of track and field athletes,” Abloh explains. “As a result, I invited some of Nike’s elite track and field champions to participate in my SS19 Off-White runway show as the natural forerunner to developing and showcasing the collection.”
The ‘Athlete in Progress’ concept is inspired by the unbreakable confidence held by runners and their unwavering dedication to achieving consistent progress, and has strong links to both Nike’s rich heritage in athletics and Abloh’s forward-thinking nature.
Keeping the sentiment of the SS19 show casting alive, Abloh and Nike just dropped the first series of campaign images starring South African 800m champ, Caster Semenya, who has made a name for herself in sport — both on and off the track — by achieving success while staying true to who she is and challenging industry norms.
“Nike celebrates its athletes through inspirational storytelling and this campaign reflects Caster Semenya’s determination to overcome challenges and to be the best athlete she can be,” said Nike of the casting choice. “This is a message to all athletes to overcome their challenges, participate in sports and achieve their goals.”
Shot in Soweto, Johannesburg by photographer Lea Colombo, the campaign sees Semenya wearing the first limited release from the collection — a running top and tights, and the Nike x Off-White Zoom Terra Kiger 5 sneaks that almost make me want to take up running.
And while the official global launch date is not until 27 June, we can confirm that there will be a limited release first apparel drop at SNEAKERBOY on 30 May (with further drops from the extended collection in August and September), with the sneakers available at both SNEAKERBOY and Supply from 24 June. You’re welcome.
Now, get ready to sprint, before they sell out.
Images: courtesy of Nike