Special Report Campaign: Nike Apparel

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Since fall 2002, Wieden & Kennedy/Portland's print campaign for Nike Apparel has continued to grace magazines with sophisticated and powerful photographs that capture athletes during intimate, post-training moments, all via the lens of fashion photographer Liz Collins, represented by Smile. AD Storm Tharp and art buyer Heather Smith comment on Collins' compelling images, and what they bring to the work.

Tharp "The essence of what Liz is known for combines high design and earthy honesty, which is a great way to address the audience of apparel advertising and magazines, which is familiar with a certain kind of image. Bringing her to this campaign helps us land on our feet in this arena. Marrying her aesthetic to the Nike aesthetic, we were able to bridge the gap between what is traditionally a sort of sporty, aggressive, jocklike culture, into one that also likes detail, well-made things, clothing in general and beautiful picture making."

Smith "Liz Collins is especially good at creating an intimate moment with her subject. There is something feminine in the way she sees things. As always, she made the apparel look exceptional. Hair and makeup were sexy but real. The skin was healthy and flushed, moist, but not sweaty. Our athletes have never looked better."

Tharp "When we chose Liz, primarily she had been known for her ability to come in close on the body and treat it as still life, but at the same time bring beautiful energy and dynamism to that. When we thought of Marion Jones removing a shirt, that's what we would need it to look like. It needed to feel fluid, full of energy and vitality. In her portfolio, Liz had done this with gamine, tall young ladies. We needed the same kind of detail and motion, not with a 6-2 model, but rather the fastest woman in the world. In the end, she nailed it."

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