Nike is launching a campaign with Girlgaze this week aimed at showcasing female-identifying photographers while promoting its latest series of Air Force 1 sneakers, which includes the Air Force 1 Utility and AF1 Sage High. The collaboration pivots on shoots from New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Toronto, where these creatives have photographed “unsung heroes” that have worked to make changes in their respective communities. The brand is likening these individuals to the resilience it says the iconic AF1 represents.
Girlgaze began as a hashtag on social media for girls to share their unique perspective of the world through photographs. That community has since spawned a global tech company that helps to connect these creatives with brand partners such as Levi’s, Gucci, Tesla—and now Nike.
The Nike campaign serves to highlight these creative influencers that have a hand in enhancing their communities through their music, style, and local foundations. For its end of the partnership, Girlgaze chose eight female photographers to capture the imagery, creating an inclusive space in an environment historically dominated by men.
Sam Bram is an Undefeated sales associate and style influencer chosen by Nike to be photographed for the campaign. She understands the gender exclusivity first hand as a female sneakerhead, though her love for the timeless Nike silhouette drives her passion to persist. “I am so inspired by the culture around AF1s that I dressed up as the AF1 king himself, Nelly, for Halloween,” said Bram. “He was so impressed that he said I killed it on Instagram. I will never forget that!”
Nike’s partnership with Girlgaze serves as a natural step in creating a space where women are empowered and celebrated in a male-centric culture. This slew of young creatives chosen by Nike are using their work across platforms to unify their communities—an idea the brand is playing toward with this particular campaign. Trae Nguyen, a Toronto-based digital storyteller, uses her digital art to create social change and empower the women around her. “There is power in kindness, and there is nothing more powerful than girls helping each other feel strong and bold,” says Nguyen. “Together as a team we can achieve and be so much more.”
“All for One,” the campaign’s slogan, is a hopeful indicator of change where gender inclusively is promoted throughout the brand to unify the communities that have helped make it iconic. “It speaks to a united voice,” said Theo Martins, a musician and founder of Good Posture, a brand that serves his community through in-house podcasts, ready-to-wear items, books, exhibitions and films. “A united front. A group gathered in one accord for a singular purpose.”