Last year, a co-worker of mine introduced me to NikeLab. It's a part of Nike much like the "Applied Sciences Division" of Wayne Enterprises. Nike created a fashion forward think-tank within its company similar to small teams within auto companies that are responsible for concept cars for the trade shows. At times they may look to haute couture aspiration and inspiration.
Nike was looking to relaunch its Air Force Ones about 5 years ago. It had been one of the less heralded core products in their stable. The smart thing to do, if budget allows, is to start in the premium market. With a collaboration, Nike increased the price and demand of an older silhouette. This re-imagining with streetwear fan Riccardo Tisci began selling at select locations such as Barneys soon after its announcement.
The creative director of Givenchy is Italian born. As the youngest of of 9 children, he enrolled in art school at an early age. From a blue collar family, Tisci received a scholarship to study at Central Saint Martins in London. Within 6 years of graduation, he was named the creative director of Givenchy womenswear and haute couture by 2005. At the time, the brand was a bit lost. Though Riccardo was not a household name then, he has given the famed fashion house a strong and recognizable identity.
In time for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, NikeLab has surprises in store for the Summer of Sport celebration. Designing athletic-focused apparel proved to be a challenge. Couture fashion designers are more accustomed to sketching ideas then working with fabrics around the body afterward. In this case, unrestricted body movement and enhanced performance are priorities. So, Tisci had to change his usual design process.
The most notable pieces combine a skirt with tights, as well as shorts with tights. The kaleidoscope prints include flowers from Tisci's home country of Italy, Nike's home state of Oregon, and Rio, the home of the 2016 Olympic Games. We will be seeing fashion inspirations that involve athletic wear thanks to the international sporting games.
images from Nike