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Exclusive: Fencer Miles Chamley-Watson Talks Modeling and Dream Collection With Nike

Fencer Miles Chamley-Watson has lofty goals, and if recent success serves as an indicator, then the Nike-backed athlete is well on his way to achieving them.

On Sunday, Chamley-Watson and the U.S. men’s foil fencing team bested Hong Kong in the gold-medal match in St. Petersburg, Russia. According to TeamUSA.org, the squad will end the world cup season as the No. 1 ranked men’s foil team worldwide.

While this win is noteworthy, the 29-year-old could accomplish perhaps his biggest career goal next year.

“My foundation is fencing competitions and making the Olympics and winning,” Chamley-Watson told FN. His big shot could come in the 2020 Summer Games in Hong Kong.

Fencer Miles Chamley-Watson Nike

Fencer Miles Chamley-Watson in competition wearing Nike.

CREDIT: ALEKSANDAR PLAVEVSKI/EPA-EFE/REX

But he isn’t consumed by sport alone. Chamley-Watson is busy working on creating a video game and his own fencing league.

He is also a model, with several Nike campaign appearances on his resumé. (Most notably he has helped Nike showcase its Tech Pack apparel and starred in the “Believe In More” campaign alongside FKA Twigs.) And although he wants to make it big in modeling, he doesn’t let it distract from what got him these opportunities.

“Modeling and fashion and all the other stuff comes second. For me, that’s a healthy distraction,” he said. “I enjoy that other side of my life because if I’m only focusing on fencing and competing I would go crazy.”

He’d also like to develop his own collection with Nike. Both stylish and athletic, Chamley-Watson told FN he is open to launching product in several categories.

“I can go training category, I can do the sportswear, I can do NikeLab. I want to touch everything, every category,” he said. “Training is such a big category and it’s wide open to a couple new ideas. Sportswear is so saturated, it’s tough to get your foot on the ground, but I think I could start with a category like that [training] and then they move you into the other category [sportswear].”

Until that happens, the fashion-focused fencer will just wear looks from his shoe collection, a lineup that any sneakerhead would be jealous of.

“Walk into my bedroom I’ve got the nice Off-Whites, the Fear of Gods, the Sean Wotherspoons, all that stuff. Then I have some Air Force 1s, the Acronym collection, and then training stuff and high-end stuff. I have a couple hundred pairs,” Chamley-Watson said.

While all this seems personal, the athlete also wants to leave a legacy beyond personal accolades.

“I want to be known as someone who changed the way niche sports are perceived,” Chamley-Watson said. “My goal is to make fencing not a niche sport anymore, that’s No. 1. Just to change the way that sports like this are perceived.”

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