Seven of Nike’s most exciting athletes– including Maria Sharapova, Sofia Boutella, Alexandre Pato, Rafael Nadal, Manny Pacquiao, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James– bring a fresh new look to fans in a photographic series created to showcase the “AW77” hoodie on October 1st. The photography, created in partnership with the creative team of David Sims and Karl Templer, presents Nike Sportswear’s in its true essence: athletes on and off the court.
The shoot teams up some of the most iconic athletes in their sports with the world of style and fashion. Over the course of three months in four cities, David Sims photographed seven athletes styled and directed by Karl Templer. The seven athletes each bring their own attitude and off-court persona to help deliver a series of images that are passionate, competitive, dynamic, gracious, self-expressive and honest.
Quote from Athlete, Karl Templer and David Sims on Scene
Maria Sharapova: “My sport involves fashion. So I get to express my individuality through what I wear on court. But, I also must feel comfortable for competition. This also transmits to off the court.” “Compared to what we have to do on the tennis court, photo shoots might be considered an easier task. I think at these photo shoots and being around many people, it’s all about just focusing on yourself and just being comfortable. It’s actually a little similar to tennis games. When you go inside the court, there are so many people around and talking and having opinions, but it’s just you and the opponent and that’s it.”
Kobe Bryant: “The number 24 for me is significant because it means approaching every day like it’s your last and taking it one day at a time, which is significant because there are 24 hours in a day. So for me it’s about cherishing each moment.” “You look good, you play good, that’s basically what’s it’s about. And I’ve always been the kind of kid that I wanted to make sure I had everything color-coordinated, everything was pressed, everything was matching. That’s just the way I grew up, making sure you look sharp at all times.”
Rafael Nadal: “I think in the end, the most important thing is being true to yourself, being honest with yourself. You know what you are doing wrong, then, you correct and improve.” “Off the court, I see that being normal will help you be better on the court. I like more or less to feel comfortable with what I wear on and off the court. And I like to be well dressed.”
Alexandre Pato: “I work hard all week, I try to improve so that on Sunday or on Saturday, I can do everything I’ve practiced. I can show my best on the field”. “When I go to my closet, I want to choose something that fits me well. What I wear depends on the day. If I want to feel comfortable and happy that day, I will choose something to go with it”.
Karl Templer: “We started out with the plan to make the most simple, honest, straightforward portraits we could possibly do. By stripping everything away, our goal was to create pictures that were universally powerful, globally, and for anyone in the world. Hopefully, they’re timeless enough within the context of being great and powerful images. That was the creative direction; very classic, but at the same time, with these subjects, punchy and strong.” “Because we’re so used to seeing these athletes performing in an amazing level on the field, that to see them in this way is quite refreshing and new. I think it’s great that Nike actually did this, and it’s powerful”.
David Sims: “I think the athletes aren’t so concerned with whether they’re delivering – a model is very caught up with what the process is. I think these guys are much more ready just to stand and present themselves as them, definitely. By comparison, it’s very different. Athletes are more realistic. “
The AW77 Hoodie Then and Now Following the same principles and routines of the original, the collection is rooted in tradition. In 1977 Geoff Hollister, Nike’s third employee, envisioned Athletics West— a mecca for the world’s greatest track and field athletes and a revolutionary idea, a place where athletes could avoid distractions and focus their energy towards their sport. These distance runners were the cream of the crop and trained year round. They logged mile after mile in the cold, wet, unforgiving conditions of Oregon. They asked for the ultimate hoodie and Geoff gave them the AW77. A heavyweight hoodie that could withstand the miles, a true performer. He stripped down the full-zip hoodie to a half-zip to increase the warmth and fit. He also added extra neck shield to the front of the hood. Nowadays it is known as the scuba hood and it is the defining characteristic of any AW77.
Being true to sport has earned us an authenticity that defines who we are –and has made us the best at what we do. The AW77 hoodie for fall and holiday 2009 is subject to Nike design’s highest standards of craftsmanship and performance innovation, ensuring this iconic silhouette stays head and shoulders above the competition, ready to perform at any time and in any conditions.
The performance attributes like water repellency and warmth, essential during fall and winter conditions, became the seasonal obsession for the Nike design team. It was not about re-inventing, rather, re-mastering and re-crafting a sportswear icon to make the product function at a higher level than before.