National sport has long been a male-dominated domain, with the majority of headlines, game time, salaries and sponsorship scooped up by male teams. But this year marks a significant moment for women’s football as the FIFA Women’s World Cup arrives in France in June.
In preparation, Nike launched their Women’s World Cup kits at a global event in Paris earlier this week with representatives from each team modelling the designs. For the first time since Nike began working with the women’s tournament in 1995, each kit has been designed specifically for the women's teams and not simply by making adjustments to those made for the men.
Nike have created home and away kits for 14 national teams, including England’s SheBelieves cup-winning Lionesses and the US, who are currently the most successful team in international women’s football. The other teams are Australia, Canada, Norway, South Korea, Brazil, France, China, South Africa, Chile, the Netherlands, Nigeria and New Zealand.
Nike worked alongside the players on the kit, designing it specifically to suit a female body from the shape of the neck to the waistband in the shorts and the fabric. In what is another breakthrough in terms of design, the kit is made from 100% recycled polyester, with at least 12 plastic bottles used per shirt.
This kit launch is important because it demonstrates Nike’s commitment to prioritising women’s bodies through design, a move that will hopefully serve to inspire other brands to follow suit.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup runs from 7th June to 7th July 2019.