Briefed by the Men's Apparel Design Team at Under Armour to create 2-4 head to toe looks for a specific end use, I fell upon a photo essay illustrating the underdog boxers of Kibera:
"THE OLYMPIC BOXING CLUB is in Kibera, Nairobi’s biggest slum. The boxers have no ring and little equipment—some weights, a skipping rope, tape for binding bruised knuckles. They only acquired a punch bag when a photographer donated some of his earnings from an exhibition to pay for it. 'It’s been torn open a few times,' the photographer [Jehad Nga] says. 'But it keeps going.'"
— Shadow Boxing by J.M. Ledgard
Jehad Nga's dynamic, dimly lit photography had stimulated my imagination, and a character, time, and place, was established. The "Boxer" of humble beginnings had fought his way from the slums of Nairobi to the biggest stage of the World Boxing Championship. He is outfitted in Under Armour, and this is his story.
ROUGH IT OUT:
Exploring print and pattern, as well as different ways to accentuate the body or "cut out" the style lines natural to the male form.
Four looks selected and refined to illustrate how the "Boxer" trains, fights, and relaxes after a match.
PRINT + PATTERN:
Kibera (Nairobi, Kenya) literally translates to "forest" or "jungle" in Nubian. The Paradise print abstracts the palm leaf into fast, energetic strokes, while the Jungle print evokes a dark, lush foliage in geometric form. These delicate prints were applied to disrupt the traditionally masculine look and feel of boxing.
Original line art, fully rendered, showcasing front, side, and back views of each design as well as various colorways.