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New York, London, Paris… Nairobi? Kenya is hardly a fashion epicenter, but it’s played a starring role in two major campaigns recently. Karen Walker highlighted local artisans for her Spring 2014 eyewear collection, and now Nike has joined in with a set of ads styled on Kenyan runners.
The current global Nike Free campaign features Kenyans Micah Kogo, Abel Mutai, Eunice Sum, Mike Kigen, Bethwell Birgen, Asbel Kiprop, Mercy Cherono, and Hellen Obiri, who have been styled in vivid kicks and singlets by the equally colorful Anna Trevelyan.
According to Nike, the athletes have historically pawned Team USA in the running stakes by “doing what comes naturally,” which is not buying kale chips from Whole Foods but “running with a stride as smooth as it is swift,” making “the astonishing seem effortless,” and “providing an impressive example of the power of natural motion as enabled by Nike Free.”
“At 8,000 feet above sea level is an entire community in perpetual motion. Kids easily run 10k each way to school and back, traveling to town like others would ride a bus. To the store, to friends, to family, they run. This is their normal: a life lived and explored on foot.”