On Saturday, the New York Times published an extensive report about how a small group of women working at Nike got fed up with their shitty workplace culture and collected data on how said workplace culture had repeatedly failed women.
Last month, they presented their findings to the head of Nike Mark Parker, and by the Times’ count, at least six men in high-level executive positions have left the company (or said they will). Buried in this report is a nugget that shows how the footwear brand underestimates women—not just its employees, but its audience, too. Nike was getting ready to launch a marketing campaign around the VaporMax shoe for women, and brought in FKA Twigs, the alt-R&B auteur and professional weirdo making some of the best outer-spacey slow jams out there, in shoot a commercial for it.
Twigs did exactly what she does best and got freaky with it. The ad featured “a woman twirling on what looked like a stripper pole and male athletes in sports bras striking odd poses,” according to the Times report. Considering how Twigs used to be a dancer (and that fact that she is FKA Twigs), I don’t really see what Nike was so surprised about. Alas, they scrapped the spot.
I maintain, however, that if they had, like, just Googled her, they could’ve seen this coming. Just a thought! It appears Nike did end up going with an ad Twigs made for tights, which is nice, but no thank you. I don’t need any more tights in my life.