Fashion / Partnership

Celebrate the winter solstice with Nike's new Nordic-exclusive sneaker

By Allyson Shiffman

Though the winter solstice is the darkest day of the year, its also a moment of rebirth and the perfect moment to manifest for the year to come. Nike celebrates this mystical day with the Nordic-exclusive V2K Run Luminous, dropping today

Here in the Nordics, Midsummer – the summer solstice – is marked by extravagant celebration. Flower crowns and traditional feasts, white dresses and singalongs. Meanwhile, the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, which takes place in mid-December, often passes by without remark. Perhaps it’s because it lands smack dab in the centre of what many consider to be our region’s least appealing months.

However, there is an ominous power to the winter solstice, one that can be harnessed to manifest a better year ahead. After all, every subsequent day following the shortest day of the year becomes gradually longer. This phenomenon – the winter solstice and its alchemy – served as inspiration for the Nordic-exclusive colourway of Nike’s V2K Run sneaker, which shines a light on our Nordic community. Aptly dubbed the Nike V2K Run Luminous, the sneaker allows its wearer to shine bright, even on the darkest day.

Fatimah Gabriella in the The Nike V2K Run Luminous. Photo: Naked Copenhagen

“The winter solstice itself holds the energy of both death and rebirth. Darkness and light,” says Swedish astrology expert Ebba Bjelkholm. The power of the winter solstice is strengthened astrologically by the sun moving into Capricorn – an earth sign that “has the endurance to take us through the upcoming cold winter months”. As much as it marks the height of darkness, the winter solstice also marks a return to light. “This makes the winter solstice a perfect time for letting go of what you wish to leave behind from last year and set new intentions for the upcoming year and cycle around the sun,” says Bjelkholm.

Fittingly, the Nike V2K Run Luminous, which itself illuminates by way of luminescent details along the upper, celebrates those who “shine in the dark”. Here in the Nordics, creative energy never hibernates, we simply adapt by way of clever styling (layers and long johns, balaclavas and beanies) and sheer will. The sneaker’s accompanying campaign highlights two Nordic talents who embody this enigmatic luminosity: Swedish stylist and creative director Wasima Ayad and Danish stylist, creative director and podcaster Fatimah Gabriella. These are two women whose light never dims.

Video: Naked Copenhagen

Ayad approaches the winter months as a “bear in idle mode”, retreating into her own mind to find fresh springs of inspiration. “For the longest time I used to think my hibernating was time wasted but now with a deeper understanding with what my body needs, it’s the perfect balance of give and take of my creative process,” she says. "The acceptance of the darkness and the slow pace that naturally comes with it made me actually more creative because it took away the pressure of performance.” This year, Ayad is manifesting “art that lives near the soul”.

The Nike V2K Run Luminous.

Gabriella, meanwhile, has a very specific approach to manifestation, one that requires keeping a certain level of “respect” for your goals. “I strongly believe in cultural phenomena like the evil eye or ‘jinxing’, even in a Western setting,” she says. “It's like if you're expressing excessive enthusiasm and excitement about a dream or project that's not been fully realised, you might accidentally attract misfortune.” For Gabriella, these winter months offer “opportunity and time to breathe life into my ideas”.

Video: Sneakersnstuff

This is a magical time of year, one that ought to be celebrated with the same enthusiasm as Midsummer. To harness the power of the winter solstice, Bjelkholm suggests a ritual in which you write down the things you wish to leave behind on a piece of paper and set the paper ablaze. On a second paper, write your intentions for the new year and read them aloud at the moment of the solstice, ringing a bell to gather good spirits. “I always gather a few friends and celebrate the solstice with lots of candles, champagne and ringing in bells,” says Bjelkholm. “It is a way to welcome the new light and for me it is the true new years eve.”

Wasima Ayad in the Nike V2K Run Luminous. Photo: Sneakersnstuff

The ultimate way to bring in the light this winter solstice? By grabbing a pair of Nike V2K Run Luminous. Gabriella plans to style hers with garments of varying textures to add “contrast and depth to the overall looks”. Ayad, meanwhile, plans to wear her pair throughout the winter months with layers of långkalsonger (long johns).

The Nordic-exclusive Nike V2K Run Luminous is launching today, December 14th, and available only via Sneakersnstuff, Naked Copenhagen and the Nike SNKRS app.