A number of sports brands celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8.
Asics teamed up with Pyrates Smart Fabrics to launch a new range of yoga products for the occasion. The seven-piece capsule collection was designed by Regina Polanco, founder of Pyrates, and its items are made with her company’s knit fabric and natural, biodegradable dyes derived from plants and minerals. The colors are sourced from Indian madder root, Mediterranean oak gall and pomegranate. The packaging, made of natural and reusable fabrics, is eco-friendly as well.
The North Face released an all-female capsule collection consisting of T-shirts and tote bags made with technical fabrics. The items come in green, purple and white and incorporate a photograph of two women wearing dresses and heels and standing atop a cliff in Yosemite National Park. The collection is manufactured entirely in the country of Jordan at the Jerash Garment Factory, all of whose 500 posts are filled by women. The factory’s founder, the activist Oryana Awaisheh, oversaw the capsule’s design and execution as well as an advertising campaign which features women in music, art, business and sport. Four of these women – the singer Jess Glynne, the freeride champion Marion Haerty, the adventurer Sofia Jin and the stuntwoman Marie Mouroum – are now ambassadors for The North Face. The International Women’s Day collection is sold through TNF’s website and selected retailers.
Merrell collaborated with Trail Sisters, a trail-running association for women, to design prints for two of its trail-running models, the Antora and the Banshee. Trail Sisters’ founder, Gina Lucrezi, chose the artist Sarah Uhl to come up with a bold design. The new shoes will be launched at the end of the month. In addition, Merrell introduced a short film, called Ripple Effect, to commemorate the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote at both the federal and state level. The film was shot by women and explores the sculpture of Jane DeDecker, creator of a monument to the cause. In it, Lucrezi and two of Merrell’s sponsored trail runners, Anna Frost and Mirna Valerio, pay a visit to DeDecker’s studio in Loveland, Colorado.
Adidas has established a partnership with iFundWomen, which provides female entrepreneurs in the sports industry with capital, coaching and networking. Earlier this year, the start-up platform supplied the female founders of nine companies with some funding and invited them to a series of workshops in New York City, where they heard from the tennis champion Billie Jean King and executives from Adidas and iFundWomen.
The entrepreneurs in question were Alex Taylor, founder of Hoop York City, a basketball association for women in New York City; Susan Sullivan, founder of the Women Sports Film Festival in San Francisco, California; Kelly Bessis, founder of Dada, a boxing and fitness group for women in Paris, France; Marisa Hamamoto, founder of Infinite Flow, a company of dancers with and without disabilities in Los Angeles; Hélène Guillaume, founder and CEO of WILD.AI, a fitness app for women based in San Francisco; Jasmina Srna, a former professional football player and co-founder of Safe-Hub, which combines sports and holistic education for young people in Berlin, Germany; Mariana Pajón, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, BMX World Champion and founder of the children’s sports association Pedaleando por un Sueño (Pedaling for a Dream) in Medellín, Colombia; Brittany Edwards and Khiana Lowe, founders of Incorp[HER]ated, which creates inclusive spaces in creative industries in New York; and Francesca Brown, CEO and founder of Goals4Girls, a football program for girls and young women in London, U.K.
Adidas and iFundWomen will be extending further invitations throughout this month. Applications are due by March 31.
Meanwhile, Under Armour’s latest shoe for Stephen Curry of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors takes inspiration from an actress, Storm Reid of the television series Euphoria on HBO. The Curry 7 Bamazing Colorway takes its name from the Bamazing initiative Reid started to inspire girls – hence the words “Btrue” and “Bbrave” on the sock liner. Reid and Curry began collaborating earlier this month by hosting a filmmaking workshop around San Francisco. Participants there pitched three short films derived from a brief submitted by Under Armour. Each film will celebrate inspiring girls in sports.
For last year’s International Women’s Day, Curry and his wife, Ayesha Curry, founded the “Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation.” Under Armour has now helped boost that initiative, enabling it to award not one but four scholarships of $30,000 for 2020.