As the Creative Director of NikeWomen’s Spring Zonal Strength Tights campaign, FKA twigs has conceptualized, directed, performed and soundtracked a collection of work that sheds light on the power of modern movement and defines sport as an important channel of expression. Here, she discusses the cast featured in the “do you believe in more?” film, with photographs from the shoot in Mexico City.
Through dance, I’ve met young people who work really hard and have dedicated their lives to being active. To me they represent “modern movement,” which I define as exploring any genre of sport without boundaries.
When Nike first came to me with this project, I saw it as an opportunity to let young people know they have the power to become the best versions of themselves. 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.
I wanted people to see someone like Saskia Horton, who plays classical violin and does krumping — these two different worlds — and think, "I could do that." I’ve known her since she was 16. She's so meticulous in her training and writes amazing dance diaries, exploring her craft. By taking dance so seriously, she is really inspirational to the young people who follow her.
Or see Jay Kirton, who is a karate world champion and discovered meditation through martial arts. He teaches young people what he's learned through martial arts — meditation and self-improvement — and inspires them to stay positive. And karate has only just been accepted into the 2020 Olympics.
Then there’s Paleta CalmQuality, who I met through krumping and has become one of my oldest collaborators. Paleta moved to London from Switzerland and developed her own style of yoga and stretching. The way she talks about the body is so inspirational. She’s really helped me to not be so hard on myself and to embrace my fragility, which I think is so important.
I met the fencer Miles Chamley-Watson five months ago. I knew he was special right away. I started following him on Instagram and saw how hard he trains. He has a tall, confident presence; he’s so relaxed and genuine and has his own style. I really wanted to work with him, but at the time, I didn't know how. When Nike asked me about this project, it seemed like the perfect way to bring our worlds together.
I met English Gardner for the first time on set. She’s so strong, down to earth and works so hard. When people are grounded, know themselves, and are following their destiny with confidence and elegance, it really strikes me. She has all of those qualities.
There’s also David Uzochukwu, who photographed the campaign; he's 17! He’s so incredibly young and talented. I'm sure he has an incredible career ahead of him. He's so certain in what he wants and has such a clear vision.
Matthew Josephs, who styled the campaign, was able to tap into everybody's individual personalities and display them in such a real way. With Nike, this is such a great collection, because there are so many things you can do with it within your own style, and Matthew really made that come through in the campaign.
I wanted everyone involved to be young, talented and inspired, and that's the kind of cast we managed to have. It took a lot of preparation, but every single person really rose to the challenge, and we just worked together as a team.
I made the song in the campaign film, "Trust In Me," before I got approached about this project. I realized it would be perfect, because the lyrics say, "Put your trust in me." In a way, we're asking people to look at me and the other amazing athletes in the video and trust the way we are. We've worked hard to perfect our crafts and create our own destinies, and we’re feeling good in our bodies.
It's exciting to have created something that's genuinely by and about young people who work hard, who are sensitive, who embrace both their strength and their vulnerabilities, and who, together, feel that they can be successful.