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Nike launched a line of full-body swimsuits, complete with a hijab head-covering, on Tuesday, debuting the “Victory Swim Collection” merchandise via an online ad release.
In a video pushing the full-body swimwear, swimming women covered head-to-toe gush over the Nike products that make them feel “like a superhero.”
“This suit is gonna take us to a different level, because it’s not even just Muslim women, it’s a lot of women who are modest, as well,” two of the women featured in the ad collectively say.
“I feel super light,” a swimmer praises.
“I’m not even gonna lie,” another woman in the ad says, “I feel like a superhero.”
“The collection, which includes the Nike Victory Full-Coverage Swimsuit along with swim separate options — the Nike Victory Swim Hijab, the Nike Victory Swim Tunic Top and the Nike Victory Swim Leggings — brings performance innovation to modest swimwear,” Nike captioned their video ad online.
A statement posted on the company’s website ironically boasted of the swimwear’s “freedom of weightlessness.”
“Its sleek, innovative silhouette provide a game-changing option for female athletes seeking full coverage and full range of motion in the water,” Nike said.
“As designers continued learning from athletes across diverse communities, they saw a striking gap in apparel for water sports — specifically, a lack of options for female athletes who don’t want to choose between modesty and movement with comfort and confidence,” the statement continued. “Existing products were lacking in either coverage or functionality, athletes shared, leaving them feeling weighted down by baggy garments, battling drag instead of striving toward personal bests or worrying about whether their hijabs and coverings would remain in place.”
As noted by Time magazine, the Victory Swim Collection “will be available for sale online starting Feb. 1, and at some retailers in California, New York City, London, and Dubai.”
Nike was notoriously plagued with public relations-related issues in the 1990s and early 2000s for apparent sweatshop manufacturing. As recently as 2017, the same concerns popped back up, Quartz reported at the time:
Now, Nike’s sweatshop problem is threatening a comeback. On July 29, students and activists around the world participated in a day of protest against Nike, organized by United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS). The demonstrations, in cities such as Boston, Washington D.C., Bangalore, and San Pedro Sula in Honduras, represented an escalation of allegations against Nike that have been slowly bubbling up.
The athletic giant “was hit with claims that workers at a Nike contract factory in Hansae, Vietnam, suffered wage theft and verbal abuse, and labored for hours in temperatures well over the legal limit of 90 degrees, to the point that they would collapse at their sewing machines,” Quartz noted, adding that Nike was “accused of cutting jobs at the Hansae factory and pulling production from a factory in Honduras with a strong union presence, resulting in hundreds of workers losing vital jobs.”
In September of 2018, Nike made controversial anthem-kneeler and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick the face of its brand, as reported by The Daily Wire. Kaepernick has claimed that he is being colluded against by the NFL and possibly President Donald Trump, to keep him out of the league.