Misty Copeland models her fall collection for Under Armour. Photo courtesy of Under Armour.
Fall is fast approaching, and American Ballet Theatre principal Misty Copeland has your back-to-dance wardrobe (and beyond) covered. The Under Armour spokesmodel debuted her Fall 2018 Misty Copeland Signature Collection earlier this week, playing off her first collection with another set of looks that work just as well in the studio as they do hanging out with friends.
Is it just us, or are Misty Copeland and David Hallberg engaging in a friendly game of one-upmanship outside of the studio? We were (mostly) joking about it after Hallberg signed with Nike, mirroring Copeland's longstanding relationship with Under Armour (not to mention the fact that as of November, both American Ballet Theatre superstars will have added "published author" to their bios). But just last week Hallberg became one of the faces of Tiffany & Co's "One of a Kind" campaign—and this morning the ballerina announced yet another high-profile endorsement deal.
In 2012, Misty Copeland was already a star on the American Ballet Theatre stage. But a national ad campaign for Diet Dr. Pepper effectively introduced the dancer to a whole new audience. Gilda Squire, Copeland's manager who negotiated the deal with the brand's advertising company, says partnering with the soda was a carefully planned move.
"It wasn't a huge payout, but I saw it as a strategic opportunity," says Squire. In the years since, Copeland has become a household name, landing partnership after partnership with brands like Oikos yogurt, watchmaker Seiko USAand Under Armour.
Misty Copeland doesn't typically spend her days balancing on demi-pointe in lace-up sneakers, wearing the briefest of running shorts and a T-shirt knotted jauntily above her hips. But Under Armour's series of “I Will What I Want" ads presents a portrait of this artist as an athlete—in the brand's athletic wear. And for the makers of the campaign, that sends exactly the right message.
“We are a disruptive brand: We look at things in a different way. We see women athletes as coming in all shapes and sizes, and Misty, to us, is part of that," says Under Armour vice president of marketing for its women's division, Heidi Sandreuter. “She doesn't fit a traditional mold. She allows us to represent a broader spectrum of athleticism."