Which Sportswear Brands Have Nabbed Which Instamodels?
A comprehensive guide.
In this day and age, you no longer have to be an athlete to sign a contract with a sportswear brand — all you really need to is be an attractive female with a large social media following (in other words, an Instagirl), and bam! You’re sportswear ambassador material.
Thanks to social media and its influence on the masses, models are not only fronting fashion and beauty labels, but also athletic brands. Perhaps this is why the athleisure trend is still going strong and most likely won’t be going away anytime soon (or is this how we rationalize wearing the comfiest clothes possible?). Either way, there’s no denying that if an influential model (particularly of the celebuspawn variety) wears a pair of leggings and sneakers, the majority of us will want that very same pair of leggings and sneakers so we, too, can ‘gram our #OOTDs and feel Instagirl-worthy.
In fact, signing an athletic contract has become a rite of passage (along with walking the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show runway and being part of the #BalmainArmy). After all, if you’re going to wear leggings and sneakers regularly off-duty, you might as well get paid for it, right?
Below, a comprehensive guide to which Instamodels are lending their star power to which sportswear brands.
Gigi Hadid — Reebok
Despite wearing adidas Superstars in many a street style paparazzi shot, Gigi Hadid pledged her allegiance to Reebok in October 2016. The 22-year-old model, who’s also the face of Maybelline, served as UFC Champion Ronda Rousey’s successor for Reebok’s #PerfectNever campaign, “an inspirational call to action that asks women around the world to celebrate the beauty of imperfection and champions Reebok’s intrinsic message of self-betterment.”
And while Hadid’s choice of athleticwear brand was a little bit surprising, her decision to front one is not. Prior to modelling, Gigi was a competitive horseback rider and volleyball player who vyed for the Junior Olympics qualifiers. Oh, and she’s also an avid boxer whose skills came in handy when she defended herself from an unwarranted attack during Milan Fashion Week.
Bella Hadid — Nike
Never one to fully follow in her elder sister’s footsteps, Gigi’s younger sibling, Bella Hadid, signed to Nike in November 2016. However, her first official campaign for the sportswear giant didn’t come until May 2017, for the brand’s 45th anniversary of the Cortez sneaker. The photos are more lifestyle than athletic, with one specific image paying tribute to to a 1970s pic of Farah Fawcett skateboarding in a pair of Cortez sneakers on the Charlie’s Angels set. Interestingly enough, for the initial announcement of Bella’s ambassadorship, Nike used a paparazzi shot of the 20-year-old model sporting a cropped Nike top for the billboard image. Clearly, those street style shots come in handy.
Kylie Jenner — Puma
Kylie Jenner caused an uproar in the media (and, surely in the family group chat), when she announced she was Puma’s newest ambassador. Considering Kylie walked in brother-in-law Kanye West’s first two Yeezy shows (in collaboration with adidas), a Jenner going rogue was the ultimate betrayal…at least to Kanye, himself. In fact, the rapper was so confident Kylizzle would never side with the competition, he tweeted, “1000% there will never be a Kylie Puma anything. That’s on my family! 1000% Kylie is on Yeezy team!!! Puma we gone give you your measly million dollars back!!! Never try to divide the family!!!”
Unfortunately for Yeezy, Kylie’s endorsement deal with Puma was officially announced shortly after, to which the rapper later admitted made him “mad for a little bit.”
Kendall Jenner — adidas
With her besties (read: the Hadid sisters) and her younger sister already signing with their respective sportswear brands, it was only a matter of time before Kendall Jenner nabbed herself an athleticwear deal. Jenner’s brand of choice? Adidas. Looks like she’s more into keeping it within the family than Kylie is.
Cara Delevingne — Puma
Model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne joined the Puma fam in late 2016, after being handpicked by the brand’s creative director, Rihanna, for the #DoYou campaign. The campaign’s ethos is very much in line with Delevingne’s, making the partnership a fitting one.
“To ‘DO YOU’ is to take ownership of yourself and finding the power within that ownership —it’s a very powerful statement. It’s about accepting who you are, no matter your faults. ‘DO YOU’ is about finding your truth and sticking to it. I think it’s so special because it means something different for everyone. It specifically encourages people to be themselves,” Cara said in a statement. Sounds about right.
Gisele — UnderArmour
Gisele Bundchen made history in 2014 when she was became the first non-athlete to be named the face of UnderArmour. The Brazilian supermodel’s partnership with the brand is still going strong, and is continuing to make bank. In 2016, the sportswear company reported an impressive set of results for its fourth quarter, growing 22 per cent in net revenue at $2.80 billion for that year, according to Business Insider. Additionally, Gisele’s 2014 “I Will What I Want” campaign for the brand reportedly led to 1.5 billion media impressions, $15 million in earned media a 42 per cent increase in visits to UA.com and a 24 per cent sales increase for the brand. Now that’s influence.
Karlie Kloss — adidas
Karlie Kloss is often considered one of the OG models to go the athleticwear route. After being with Nike for two years, Kloss switched teams, joining adidas in early 2016. Along with starring in the brand’s “Here to Create” campaign, the 24-year-old also fronted the ads for adidas x Stella McCartney’s fall 2016 collection, making it the perfect marriage between fashion and athleticwear.