Nike’s flagship London store has introduced plus-size and para-sport mannequins to its redeveloped women’s floor, signaling a further step towards inclusivity for the sportswear brand.
Opened June 5, the new women’s floor at NikeTown London sells “extended offerings of plus-sizes,” as well as women’s team kits and customized sportswear.
“To celebrate the diversity and inclusivity of sport, the space will not just celebrate local elite and grassroot athletes through visual content, but also show Nike plus size and para-sport mannequins for the first time on a retail space,” Nike said in a press release.
Sarah Hannah, Nike’s general manager and vice president for women in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said in a statement: “With the incredible momentum in women’s sport right now, the redesigned space is just another demonstration of Nike’s commitment to inspiring and serving the female athlete.”
The sportswear brand follows retailers including Old Navy and Nordstrom, as well as UK department store Debenhams, in displaying size-inclusive mannequins.
Nike released a women’s plus-size range in 2017, offering sizes from 1X to 3X, with a campaign featuring model Paloma Elsesser, influencers Grace Victory and Danielle Vanier and hammer thrower, Amanda Bingson.
The brand subsequently launched a long-term collaboration with Victory in 2018, who wrote on Twitter, “SO proud & looking forward to sharing a different narrative to exercise”:
So excited to announce that I am PARTNERING with @nikewomen longterm, representing Nike Plus. Sharing content over the next few months, paying close attention to the connection between exercise & MH. SO proud & looking forward to sharing a different narrative to exercise 😌✨#ad pic.twitter.com/ubc4ugCv2H
— Grace 🌿 (on maternity leave) (@GraceFVictory) February 9, 2018
Earlier this year, Nike also collaborated with influencer Chloe Elliott and British online retailer Very to showcase their plus-size range.
Elliott tweeted about the collaboration in March, along with photos of herself doing ballet, and she added that it feels good to buck expectations and prove fat-shamers wrong:
If anyone tries to tell you that your body size will hold you back, they are wrong. A few weeks ago someone left me a comment saying ‘You are mad if you think you can do ballet’. Feels good proving people wrong, you’re only called ‘crazy’ til you do it 😏 @Nike @verynetwork AD pic.twitter.com/1hqf7cupNk
— Chloe (@ChloeInCurve) March 14, 2019
“If anyone tries to tell you that your body size will hold you back, they are wrong,” Elliott wrote in the tweet.
“A few weeks ago someone left me a comment saying ‘You are mad if you think you can do ballet’. Feels good proving people wrong, you’re only called ‘crazy’ til you do it.”
In November, Victory and Elliott were among the signatories of an open letter published in Cosmopolitan, noting that 45% of plus-size shoppers buy clothes online and asking retailers to expand the size range sold in store.
“I just want to have a wardrobe as good as my smaller sized friends,” writer Laura Capone wrote in the letter. “So I’m asking if you can finally make plus-size women your priority, instead of an afterthought. We want the same clothes as everybody else, in bigger sizes, available in store.”
Plus-size models including Tess Holliday, Lauren Nicole and Bella Golden added their names to the letter.
Written by Emily Dixon for CNN. Additional reporting by Simplemost staff.
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