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Let's Talk Sports & Fitness With Sneaker Freak, April Francis

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In the final post of a three-part series, our Rick Owens-clad defender of justice and finder of the impossible, Samm Mackin speaks with April Francis about how to get physical and 'just do it' while glistening minimally.

[Photo: Wheatbreads]

Although we’ve seen April Francis 'work it' in front of the camera as the face of Agga B. Designs and even vamp it up for Vavoom Pinups, her latest collaboration with Nike was definitely something else! Shot in Miami, April’s 'Made by Nike' video was inspirational and visually stunning. In the vein of the sportif theme we decided to find out if April does everything running in heels or sneakers and how to look chic while working out.

[Made by Nike via NikeWomen on Youtube]

Racked: We loved your Nike collab video so we have a few “sporty” questions for you.

April Francis: Thank you – yes!

R: What are your fav sports?

AF: I love exploring crazy terrain, lava fields and summits and riverbeds. I like biking and think tennis is fun. I’m a big fan of hockey (Red Wings), football (Wolverines) and basketball (The Pistons). I’ll do anything -- I just like to play.

R: We’ve seen you sport some pretty fly sneaks, but has it always been your dream to collaborate with Nike?

AF: My whole life, as long as I can remember, I have been hugely loyal to Nike. The motto! I was in the studio for Phil Knight at Oprah and was beside myself. My first serious pair was an Air Max Triax. I’ve never encountered a cooler company – every single person on the Nike team is exactly how you want a professional to be – humble, dedicated and really good at what they do.

R: What was your reaction to being selected to rep Nike?

AF: It was an honor to be chosen to represent Nike in the #madebynike campaign. The Nike culture is absolutely stunning -- they build communities here in Chicago and everywhere. They get people moving and excited about life. The Nike Sportswear line is through the roof technical and chic. Right now I’m looking to get my first pair of AF1s.

R: Workout gear is notoriously grungy. What’s the secret to looking fabulous while being active?

AF: Shop Nike. Pull your hair out of your face. Rock some great t-shirts. Try a running skirt! Every look should make you feel great.

R: If you won a gold medal in the Olympics what would it be for?

AF: Archery. I admire Olympians: being an athlete can be so pure. The Olympics actually jumpstarted by relationship with Nike -- I styled a Nike shoot in Chicago for the 2010 Winter Games.

R: Judging by all of your projects we would have to say that you’re probably like a marathon runner jogging between all of them. Do you do it running in heels or sneakers?

AF: Both. Before the Sky-Hi’s came in I hacked a pair of black patent Nike ACG boots into wedges. Tara at Sprout Home Chicago was in on it.

R: What’s next for April Francis?

AF: I want to do more.
· Professor Francis on the Business of Styling at Columbia College [Racked]
· April Francis of Reality Show 3 on CBS Dishes on Men, Lucky Numbers and Manrepelling [Racked]