Away from all the french controversies regarding modest swimwear and hijab, we flew to Dubai in order to discover Nike’s newest reveal: The Victory Swim Collection. Since its public launch on December 10th, the collection who is going up for sale in February 2020, has quite drawn attention towards the brand- whether it be positive or negative.

This collection pushes the boundaries and barriers of innovation and design for all women, offering them an empowering swimwear range that focuses on efficient performance. The collection is composed of the Victory Swim Full-Coverage Swimsuit, the Swim Hijab, the Tunic Top and the Swim Legging that either comes in large or tight. You will be able to either buy the pieces separately, creating the swim outfit yourself, or buy it how it comes. There are three colour options as of now: Blue, Black and deep Purple. The Swim Hijab has mesh pockets that keep hair in place, holding it firmly so that it won’t budge while swimming. Another important detail is the built-in sport bras in both the swimsuit and the tunic top which is a huge innovation for hijabis who previously had to wear a bikini underneath their modest swimwear to have coverage and support. Moreover, each piece has a UPF 40+ sun protection in order to protect the swimmers skin. The whole collection offers a head to toe drainage system with a gill-like built in vents with open-meshed articulations which creates breathable, light and free movements in the water.

Everything has been thought to provide a unique experience under water. Martha Moore, the Vice President creative director at Nike, has worked with a design team to come up with a collection that would ensure women to feel strong and confident without having any other distraction. Their main focus was to create products that function perfectly, that would feel lightweight and dry fast. For Moore, the collection had to be functional before making it aesthetic. Once they overcame the practical challenges, they added colour touches and mermaid holographic details. Which is honestly one of the best thing to look at. Thanks to the Victory Swim Collection, women can now move and practice their sport easily. The motto of this range according to Moore is « I look good I feel good, I feel good i play good ». It is all about feeling like you could win a gold medal, not actually winning it. Having noticed the issues women had with swimming, Moore and her team wanted to open possibility of the delight of sport so that everyone can enjoy it regardless of: culture, body type and body consciousness.

It is owing to the huge success of the Nike’s Pro Hijab that this collection saw the light of day. So many women and athletes felt confident and empowered by that first drop that Nike had to continue to provide such assistance. The brand always relies on their surroundings to solve in the most accurate way their requests. Listening to athletes such as Nouf, Saudi Arabia’s first woman scuba diver, the collection slowly started taking shape. During our interview, Nouf said she didn’t feel confident in a basic swimsuit because of how tight it was. She had to put clothes on top to make it look more modest, hence feeling too suffocating. It is when she founded her own scuba diving club for women called « Pink Bubbles Divers », that she started noticing that many women were too conscious of going under water or even above water because of the unfitting swimwear. Noting that, Nike made products that are body skimming and conscious of all the issues women had to deal with, meaning creating products that does no compress the body and is not skin showing. According to Nouf, this collection is going to be a game changer in all fields.

The Victory Swim Collection is aimed at any women wanting to enjoy water. However, it is undoubtedly a strong statement for Muslim women. Whether it was intended by Nike or not, that shouldn’t be the primary focus of the collection. The worldwide known brand proved over the decade that what really matters to them is the wellbeing of their athletes and making clothes that would allow them to focus on their practices. That was first proven in 1984, with Joan Benoit, and now in 2020 with this Victory Swim Collection. Not having to deal with the efficiency of one’s gear is a privilege that Nike is ready to offer to every single woman. Besides, women that are not only athletes should feel included in this Victory Swim Collection. You want to enjoy swimming without having to be conscious of your body? You will love this collection.

Article de Balkis Hmida.

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