Many young women who play sports can relate to Olympic hurdler T’eresa Brown.
Growing up, Brown was faster than brother so she joined the track and field team. But she sported hand-me-down pieces from her brother’s wardrobe most of the time. The ill-fitting clothes got in the way when she competed, and she has the scarred knees to prove it.
“I fell a lot because my clothes were too big and would get caught on my arms or the hurdles,” she says. “Then I wore my practice clothes to school and, well, I did not win best dressed. I had no style at all.”
Brown’s story is far too common because teenage girls don’t have athletic gear created for them. But Adidas has changed that.
Designers Katie Becker and Ashley Anson traveled to NYC this week to unveil Adigirl, a new athletic apparel line exclusively for teenage girls.
Adidas came to define an Adigirl as someone you probably know: A multi-sport athlete who wants to compete with her friends year-round. She identifies herself through her sport, but also with her particular position.
For months, the Adidas team studied, researched, and conducted focus groups in order to best serve their demographic. They also found inspiration in the disastrous fashion experiences of female athletes from across different sports.
The line is filled with fun cutouts, bold lines, and bright colors. Becker, Anson, and professional athletes hope the looks will embolden young girls – many of whom have the chance to thrive athletically – today.
Adigirl hits stores just in time for the start of fall sports training and practice schedules. But it also comes at a time of unparalleled success within women’s sports.
Serena Williams won her 21st Grand Slam event in July. WNBA All-Star Elena Delle Donne is having a record-breaking season. Carli Loyd made history by scoring a hat trick in the USA’s World Cup final win. The entire USWNT team then traveled down the streets of New York in the first-ever ticker tape parade strictly for women athletes.
Today’s women’s sports stars know things have come a long way since they first hit the field. And they encourage young girls everywhere to keep the momentum going. They should find a sport they love and immediately get active.
“I was awkward and goofy, but soccer allowed me to gain confidence and learn things I still use today,” Erika Tymrak, a midfielder for Kansas City FC, says. “I traveled all over the world at a young age and found out how to use my weaknesses – like my size – to my advantage. Sports gives you this confidence that helps define you.”
It can also serve as an outlet or an escape, as track did for Brown, who came from an abusive household.
“Sports gave me my own sense of identity and allowed me to focus on something I was really good at,” she says. “It instilled my dedication and work ethic and helped me know that I could accomplish my goals.”
And if someone tells a young girl that they can’t achieve something? Brown has some simple, powerful advice that she followed on her way to the 2012 London Olympics:
“Prove them wrong.”