When the first image from the highly anticipated Nike x Jacquemus collaboration appeared on Instagram — a white dress with a cutout back — adorned with a strap featuring a swoosh, it set the internet abuzz. French designer Simon Porte Jacquemus, beloved for his bright, South-of-France-sexy takes on womenswear was lending his eye to the sportswear industry’s biggest powerhouse. The result is a collection that marries sportswear and technicality with elegance and a sense of playfulness.
I had the chance to preview the collection in May, during Nike’s Future 50 For Her event, which touched on the future of female sport at the company. The first thing I noticed was the thoughtful attention to detail throughout the line. The Nike swoosh logo, in the form of a metal charm, is a central design element; it serves as a piece of jewelry, attached to straps that wind around the body and hug the waist. The range of dresses, sweaters, tops, and skirts is cooly sophisticated, thanks to a simple palette of navy, tan, and ivory.
“I wanted to create a collection that reinterprets athletic women’s sportswear in a minimal way,” Jacquemus explains via press release. “I have always been inspired by vintage ACG pieces and Nike campaigns from the ‘90s. Having this imagery in mind, we designed women’s athletic wear with sensuous details and neutral colors, along with my own interpretation of the Humara — my favorite Nike shoe.”
Nike’s ACG or “All Conditions Gear” sub-label, was popular during the ‘80s and ‘90s only to be discontinued and relaunched in 2014. Its aesthetic is outdoorsy and technical, made for hiking and practical outings. Jacquemus drew on the branding of the era and incorporated Nike’s proprietary DRI-Fit fabrics along with technical knitwear made of cotton and recycled fibers. “With Jacquemus, we drew from vintage ACG inspiration, the interweaving of Nike DRI-Fit fabric, and considered footwear like the Humara, to create a nexus of sport and style that could only be done through the shared lens of Nike x Jacquemus,” Jarrett Reynolds, Nike VP of catalyst apparel design says via press release.
The collaborative Humara sneaker, a style that was first released in 1997 and designed as a trail runner, has received the Jacquemus treatment via a clean body with a small Nike swoosh embroidered on the side. Straps run across the top of the laces and around the back. The shoes come in two colorways, an ivory and white as well as a brown. It’s footwear that’s sturdy and practical while also serving a major minimalist mood.
While these designs will surely be hard to track down (at the 9 a.m. launch time Jacquemus’ webpage was down due to demand), forthcoming collections, which will be released later in summer, continue to expand on timeless Nike signatures through the addition of genderful footwear and accessories. (Fans will get another crack at shopping this drop as well, when Nike and select retailers offer the items as of July 7.) And while these pieces were created with women in mind, there will be ways for men to get in on the fun as well. “It was important for the collection to be accessible for all bodies, and to be a natural blend of Jacquemus style and Nike performance,” says Jacquemus.
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