Posted on March 18 2015
Hey There Pretty Birds,
By now you may have heard about and/or seen the amazing pictures of NikeLab’s collaboration with the Japanese designer Chitose Abe, designer of Sacai.
I wanted to share the news with you sooner, but I decided to wait when I received NikeLab’s invitation to view the collection at an exclusive presentation in London. I wanted to be fully informed and inspired for you guys.
As many of you may also know, NikeLab’s mission is to create fresh and unexpected products by teaming up with international designers whose brands powerfully inform style and innovation across the globe. Known for her ability to transform classic pieces into clever hybrids, Abe poured through Nike’s extensive archives and employed her signature magic to re-work some of Nike’s much-loved sportswear essentials into an eight-piece capsule collection of hybrid performance superstars with a feminine and modern edge. The stellar range includes: the Tech Fleece crew, Tech Fleece hooded sweatshirt with zip, Windrunner jacket, Sport Skirt, Graphic tee, Tech Fleece dress, Tech Fleece crew top with back zip and Tech Fleece pant.
The focus on innovation took shape through the development of “a special mesh lace hem that was specifically developed by Nike and Abe to adorn the trim of graphic Nike T-shirts.” Abe’s signature paneling was also applied to several of the garments. Abe and Nike Lab were able to achieve this effect by pleating the classic ripstop fabric, a first at Nike. Additionally, bonded zippers that are attached without any stitching are used throughout the range.
If the shoe fits… And it does in the form of the collection shoe – The NikeLab Air Max 90. An iconic silhouette revamped, Abe exercises her flair for tailoring by creating a seamless leather slip-on that includes clever details like a tromp l’oeil midsole which creates the illusion of a wedge. I saw it up close at last night’s launch event in London. In addition to looking like the Bentley of comfort (I’m a practical kind of girl), the cool kids were cooing about needing it on their feet A.S.A.P. And you know that they generally keep their public showing of admiration to a minimum.
And speaking of last night, the presentation of the collection was staged at Collins Music Hall in Islington Green. The layout of the event was conceptualised to highlight Abe’s creative process and offered a showcase of the archive Nike Air Max and Windrunner models that she referenced to realise the collection along with her stellar versions. Also designed to show the range in movement, the evening featured a high flying dance performance choreographed by Ryan Heffington (behind the beautiful moves of Sia and FKA twigs) and styled by Karl Templer (veteran fashion stylist and Creative Director of Interview Magazine). The pieces flew, twirled, shimmied, jerked and pleated as the show’s spectacular dancers projected an incredibly positive energy. They (the performers) looked brilliant, fresh and free, like they were having the time of their lives. Performance at it’s best. Hats off to Chitose Abe and NikeLab, for a winning collaboration.
Please enjoy a selection of images from last night’s presentation.
The collection launches tomorrow (March 19) in New York, London, Paris, Milan, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. You can find them in Dover Street Market and Colette, and in Japan on March 25.
Look book Images Courtesy of Nike. Look book photography by Craig McDean, styling by Karl Templer.
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