Advertisement

Alberta-born Cree model becomes face of Nike campaign: ‘Breaking some glass ceilings’

Alberta-born Cree model Ashley Callingbull is the face of a new Nike campaign that celebrates Indigenous culture.
Alberta-born Cree model Ashley Callingbull is the face of a new Nike campaign that celebrates Indigenous culture. Credit / Nike

An Alberta-born Cree model is now the face of a major Nike campaign that celebrates Indigenous culture.

Ashley Callingbull is a professional model originally from the Enoch Cree Nation west of Edmonton who was also the first Indigenous and Canadian woman to win Mrs. Universe in 2015.

She was selected by Nike to be one of the major faces for its N7 campaign, which was designed by a Navajo artist and celebrates Indigenous culture and heritage plants across America.

“It’s basically our [First Nation peoples’] connection to the land, and bringing it out through fashion and making a statement,” Callingbull said Monday.
Story continues below advertisement

She said that while she has previously worked with Nike, this shoot was special to her because of its message.

“You never see a lot of Indigenous faces in one campaign, and for a campaign like Nike, so that’s pretty groundbreaking,” Callingbull said. “I feel like we’re breaking some glass ceilings.

“It’s important to see more Indigenous representation, especially mainstream. We aren’t really focused on, and the youth need someone to look up to,” she said. “If I’m going to be one of those people opening the door for them, then this is amazing.

“I want them to believe that we’re all capable of achieving our biggest dreams.”

READ MORE: ‘We are still here and standing strong together’: Regina model heading to Paris

Story continues below advertisement

Callingbull added that the shoot was actually done amid the COVID-19 shutdowns, which meant she actually modelled from her home, with her sister — a professional stylist — doing her hair and makeup.

“[Nike] had the whole production team in their homes and shooting through Zoom, telling me what they’re looking for,” Callingbull said.

The N7 shoes from the campaign that features Callingbull can only be purchased online by U.S. customers, but some of its N7 products can be found at Canadian Sport Chek locations.