The Jordan Brand Women’s Collective combines style and sport to build a new ecosystem for rising women in and around the WNBA.
As WNBA players and basketball influencers arrive in Las Vegas for 2023 All-Star Weekend, there’s a collective energy in the air. Jordan Brand, which has already made headlines this week by unveiling its game jerseys, is a big part of that.
Jumpman plans to expand its presence as the weekend goes on with on-the-ground programming, led by the Jordan Brand Women’s Collective — a cohort of 11 creatives and cultural figures within basketball and sneaker culture.
The Collective takes a collaborative approach to creating viral moments. One member, stylist Amiraa Vee will work with Satou Sabally on an elevated Orange Carpet outfit. Another, Sashà Elina, will dress her peers in trendy looks to re-contextualize the brand’s sportswear. These intentional style moments provide more than outfit inspiration; an eye-catching outfit can shift mainstream perception around WNBA players through authentic examples of female expression.
By participating in the Collective, creatives from Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago also receive a co-sign from one of basketball’s most elite brands. When Melissa Co, who works as the Chicago Bulls’ Twitter Moderator and co-hosts the Nothin’ But Bull podcast, returns from the weekend, she’ll have player insights from panels at Stage 23 and more basketball-obsessed friends to add to her community.
“The brand has invested in me in ways that will keep me here for the rest of my life,” Co says. “Since Day 1, joining the Collective has fueled my passion to cultivate community and invest in the youth through basketball.”
That investment came through the opportunity for Co to facilitate a youth clinic alongside Isabelle Harrison during NBA All-Star Weekend in Utah. After that, she collaborated with two others on her own basketball clinic with Jordan Brand’s help.
Apart from conversations using the thriving #WNBAAllstar or #WNBATwitter tags, establishing the Women’s Collective makes it easier for the league’s growing fanbase to learn about localized projects related to women’s sports.
Prior to embarking on the trip, members of this year’s Collective were gifted basketballs with artwork from Laci Jordan, a Los Angeles-based artist from the Collective’s inaugural batch in 2022. Whether the brand works on external, fan-facing initiatives or internal, members-only communications, these women embody ideas that affect the wider sportswear industry.
“Thinking back to two years ago when the WNBA All-Star game was in Vegas, we’ve witnessed a meteoric rise in energy and support around the game,” says Tonia Jones, the Vice President of the Jordan Brand Women’s division.
Jones also highlighted the “importance of cross-pollinating and forming bonds across industries.” This is felt through integrating Collective members into the weekend’s programming. For example, one member, Chelsea Billingsley, will host an art workshop at Stage 23.
“We’re letting real people, our family do the talking, to take us beyond,” Jones said.
All-Star Weekend festivities will also include private retreats where the Women’s Collective and key players come face-to-face with Jordan Brand team members. Earlier this season, the Chicago Sky’s Dana Evans shared her on-court insights and teased future creative aspirations in Design and Apparel meetings. Although sportswear brands historically turn to players when developing the latest performance innovations or court-certified styles, these cultural intersections are part of this community-focused movement.
In the ever-discerning eyes of WNBA fans, Jordan Brand navigates challenges around the commodification of womanhood or being performative in engagement with Collective members. The brand’s work in amplifying these voices are housed within larger campaigns and magazine covers, like an Office takeover from last year, that share a similar framework: these women and their vision shine not only in its final imagery but also throughout the overall image-making process.
Extending beyond sports-centric creators or audiences, the Jordan Brand Women’s Collective wants to ensure continued support for women’s sports, beyond All-Star weekend. Over the coming months, keep an eye out for projects that push the boundaries of style for WNBA players and anyone who wants to innovate how sportswear exists in their wardrobes.
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