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Martine Rose is changing women's football

The new Nike SHOX are yet another example of how the British designer uses fashion to overturn the narrative about sport

Martine Rose is changing women's football The new Nike SHOX are yet another example of how the British designer uses fashion to overturn the narrative about sport

If last year she had launched the "Lost Lionesses" project, to celebrate fifty years later the group of 14 English female soccer players who in 1971 embarked to Mexico City to play in an international tournament, this year Martine Rose returns to the soccer field on the occasion of the Women's European Championships with a new collaboration with Nike. Working directly in the brand's archives in Portland, and dodging rumors that she will be Louis Vuitton's new Creative Director, the Anglo-Jamaican designer has created a rework on the Nike Shox, a model that represents the British football subculture. The shoe uses the iconic Shox bubble as a heel and offers a square toe as in the mules designed for her brand, combining the Nike aesthetic with Rose's trademark focus on upcycling. 

The designer herself called it "a product of observation" with respect to the difference in outfits for the men's and women's teams, where the former arrive at the game in their bespoke suits and the latter already in their competition sportswear. A precise aesthetic that in Martine Rose reduces the distance between outside and inside the playing field, and at the same time signaling the gap between the two sports. "We recognized the great opportunity to focus on women and soccer and make a trainer that was almost a smart shoe," the designer concluded. The Nike x Martine Rose SHOX Mule MR4 is thus not only a hybrid of a mule, a sneaker, and a soccer shoe, it is a tribute to the women of football who have carried on the movement despite the difficulties they have faced during their lives. Martine Rose, with photographer Pascal Gambarte and stylist and art-director Tamara Rothstein created nine portraits to tell the story of how much has been done in women's soccer and how much more there is to do, with the help of fashion and sports brands as well. A gallery of women who are very different but united by their commitment to making the world of soccer more egalitarian and open to anyone who wants to join.

Like Maria Romanchenko, a Ukrainian soccer player who fled the war in the Netherlands to carve out a future as a professional while studying design or Ruth Ruano, whose photos while breastfeeding her son on the bench have gone around the world. Or Hope Powell, the first black female coach in England in the 1970s, through to Khartoum Dembelé and Founé Diawara, the duo behind Les Hijabeuses, a group of young Muslim female soccer players who came together because of the hijab ban imposed by the French Football Federation. Martine Rose confirms with this new collaboration with Nike her interest in the world of football from a unique, revolutionary and inclusive perspective. Moreover, the release is planned to coincide with the very beginning of the Women's European Championship in London 2022, which will be a key event for the whole movement and on which many sportswear brands are investing with special projects and jerseys finally designed for female athletes and not adapted from men's ones.