Casey Short of the Chicago Red Stars dishes on sneakers, soccer and more with Michigan Avenue.
Casey Short (Photo courtesy of Nike)
The Chicago Red Stars don't kick off the 2018 regular season until this Sunday's road match against the Houston Dash, but it's already been a buzzy year for defender Casey Short. Not only was the U.S. Women's National Team member tapped for this month's SheBelieves Cup tournament, but she kicked off the year by starring in Nike's "The Force is Female" campaign, celebrating Short and other notable names (including beauty maven Kristen Noel Crawley, photographer Elizabeth De La Piedra and singer Ravyn Lenae) as they showcased a female-focused colorway of the Nike Air Force 1 (currently celebrating its 35th anniversary). Says Short: "It's about strong women breaking boundaries and pushing the limits—not only inspiring everybody in the industry but everybody in the world."
Recently, Short chatted with Michigan Avenue about collaborating with Nike, her expectations for the Red Stars' upcoming campaign and what it means for the Naperville native to play professionally in the Windy City.
What is it like to work, or be a part of a group of influencers like this, who, like you, have made their own respective stamps in their respective industries? CASEY SHORT: I think it’s incredibly humbling and inspiring to be a part of it. I love being able to celebrate all of these other amazing artists and entrepreneurs who are pushing the boundaries. I think now, more than ever, it’s very important to have these strong women as role models. So, to be a part of that is pretty amazing.
How would you describe the shoe and the collection itself and how that coincides with your own personal aesthetic if it does? CS: Well, the AF1 is already such an iconic shoe. When these came out, I was instantly drawn to them because of the color and how unique it is; I love that it really stands out. My personal style is pretty simple—I wear a lot of neutrals and black. So, I love that these give a pop of color to my style.
Nike debuted an exclusive colorway of the Air Force 1 for its latest "The Force is Female" campaign (Photo courtesy of Nike)
Are you personally any sort of sneakerhead yourself? CS: I wasn’t really a sneakerhead, honestly, but this inspired me to become one because I was so drawn to these shoes, and now I’m obsessed with them, so that makes me want to continue.
What does that ["Force is Female"] idea mean to you, exactly? CS: To me, it means we are a force. I think it’s about strong women breaking boundaries and pushing the limits.
What do you want your fans or followers to take away from this partnership? CS: I would say that the force behind my success has been my perseverance and determination. So I hope that this campaign represents that.
Now that we’re looking ahead to spring, I wanted to learn a little bit about what the winter season has held for you and what your thoughts are on the upcoming campaign for the Red Stars? CS: I think the last couple seasons have been a bit disappointing for us because we’ve made it to the playoffs, the same spot, the last few years, and had the same result. Yet, we’ve had the talent to go all the way. This offseason, we’ve added some new exciting talent, we’ve also hired a couple new assistant coaches….I think the expectation now for this season is to win a championship, and, honestly, anything less would be a disappointment.
Is there anything that you’ve done differently to prep for the upcoming season? CS: You have to put in the hard work in the offseason. You have to push yourself. You have to push the limits. That’s something that I’ve always stuck with and tried to do again this offseason.
What are your expectations for the season? CS: I’m here for the team and that’s what’s most important to me. I think winning the Shield and then winning the championship are the two things that we have our eyes on. But I would say it’s a one-day-at-a-time kind of thing.
What do you enjoy about being able to play a professional sport in Chicago? CS: I’m originally from Naperville, so it’s been a full circle journey to be able to come all the way back and just play in my hometown. It’s been awesome to have friends and family come and support me and being a Chicago native (or slightly-outside-of-Chicago native), there’s an extra sense of pride in playing for your hometown. It’s such an honor, and it means a lot to be able to represent this amazing city.
When you were developing professionally as an athlete, whom did you look up to? Who was your role model that was formative in your professional career? CS: My soccer role models were the 99’ers, just because they were so inspiring. Inspiring the world. I knew that was something I wanted to do. I wanted to play for the national team and be like them. Outside of soccer, I would say Peyton Manning has always been one of my heroes, as well.