Tempering Strength and Grace with Nike
In the world of athletic wear, the hot market segment right now is women’s wear. For their latest collection of women’s athletic wear, Nike went all out. They unveiled the collection at a fashion week type event, open to international journalists, featuring no fewer than 27 female athletes as models. This was no simple list of ladies who lunge, it was a roster filled with Olympians and groundbreakers. Joan Benoit won the Gold Medal the first time the women’s marathon was introduced to the Olympics. Sofia Boutella has blurred the line between dancer and actor, with an impressive resume in both fields. Alana Nichols competes as a female basketball player and skier, all seated in her wheelchair.
Photographer Joe Pugliese was invited by Nike to capture each of these women to show off who they are. Dressed up in Nike’s apparel like models, with each of their incredible histories, there’s a lot behind each of these women that could be punched up for the images. But that’s not the way Joe works. “I like when I can try to relay what’s happening in someone’s life by showing a certain quiet moment instead of just posing them for a photo,” says Joe about his shooting style. The intensity of training, the roar of the crowds, the analysis of stats, all these things disappear when it’s just the athlete and the camera. “I learn a lot about people by observing them and that’s the most satisfying part of my job,” explains Joe. Then Joe shows us what he sees. Confidence. Grace. Strength. Joy. Intensity. In these contexts Joe reminds us that each of these athletes are simply real women. Everything else is extra.
To see more of Joe Pugliese's shoot with Nike, check out their social media channels.