The fastest woman in British history, Dina Asher-Smith brings her own dash to the season’s fun, energetic fashion as she prepares for her greatest challenge yet. By Ellie Pithers. Photographs by Charlotte Wales. Styling by Poppy Kain.
Asher-Smith explains, “When I’m out on the track, I’m not thinking about what I look like. I’m just trying to win. But beforehand, I need to be calm. Doesn’t matter how nervous you might feel, if you need to do your eyeliner, you cannot be shaking.”
Dina has always loved make-up. The bathroom in her flat in Orpington, on the outskirts of south-east London, where she lives alone, is chock-full with products. Friends who go on holiday with her know to leave ample time to get through check-in – Dina’s bags will inevitably be overweight. She keeps Pat McGrath face powder in her bag with her Nike spikes, as well as a tube of Bobbi Brown lip gloss, which she’ll apply at the very last moment before the race, because it’s a bit sticky. Nothing is left to chance. Dina wants to look fantastic. If she wins – when she wins – she’ll be on the six o’clock news, her face plastered on the front of the newspapers.
The 25-year-old is telling me this in characteristically animated fashion over an untouched cream tea in the garden of a hotel in Bromley, after an intense training session. It’s the first day of a new phase of lockdown relaxation in England, and Asher-Smith, like any other twentysomething who has been cooped up at home for more than a year, is excited to be out. “I got like, 10 WhatsApps inviting me places today!” she says, shrugging off her Nike Nocta puffer and setting down a black Telfar bag. Unlike most other twentysomethings, however, the release comes with added significance: it means the sprinter is one step closer to achieving her Olympic dream come the end of July.
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