Let me trace back to last week and paint a little picture here... Last Monday I was jammed packed with the jump start to Toronto World Mastercard Fashion Week and back-to-back meetings. Alas, I walked into my last one for the evening. I was sitting at a table at Home of the Brave on King and Portland, waiting on a friend/client to talk about a collaborative project. While sipping on HotB's infamously strong 'Long Island Slushy Iced Tea' and discreetly jamming to the tracks playing in the background, I failed to realize that I missed a call from Nike Canada. Shortly after, I received a voicemail and it went a little something like this:
"Hey Christina, it's Danielle from Nike Canada. I'm calling to see what your week is like and wondering if you're free to fly out to New York for something Nike has planned. Give me a call back!"
Without question, I ran outside of the restaurant and called back. Danielle (who was already in New York), provided me with brief details whilst trying to keep things as discreet as possible as Nike is infamous for surprises! Nonetheless, I basically had 24 hours to attend two fashion week shows, rearrange my fashion week schedule, respond to Nike travel documents and pack for a quick trip to NYC for the Nike Women's Media Launch Summit! I was literally running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
P O R T E R A I R L I N E S - N Y C B O U N D
Wednesday morning hits and my flight is in a few hours. I'm running on zero to no sleep and once again, I've left packing for last minute (typical move). I was antsy and excited because heck, New York is always a gosh damn good idea, and it was the anticipation of the unknown! (What does Nike have planned? What's in store? I'm so freakin' excited!) I packed light; literally nothing but Nike Dri-Fit gear and a few runners. Based on the social media feeds of the other ladies who were already in New York, I kind of, sort of, had an idea (but not really). Another part of my excitement was being able to fly with Porter Airlines. It was my first time! I mean, I've flown to NYC before but never through Porter. The experience was superb, service was superb, and I felt superb. Let's just say, upon landing I was a tad drunk to say the least. Shout out to the flight attendants and all that white wine! Geez Louize!
T R U M P S O H O H O T E L
Upon arrival, everything else felt like a movie; I was escorted by my personal driver who took care of all my belongings and welcomed me into my ride which was hooked up to everything I needed and more — it was unreal! I kicked back, relaxed, charged my iPhone, sipped on water (still getting over a slight wine buzz) and enjoyed the NYC view. The Statue of Liberty never looked so beautiful.
Daydreaming of how blessed of an opportunity and situation I was in, I didn't realize that I've arrived at my destination. There I was, at the Trump SoHo Hotel where I was immediately greeted, "Good afternoon, Ms. Cheng" and escorted into the lobby of the hotel. Fans were gathered outside the hotel as many NBA athletes and other celebrities were also in attendance. Upon check-in I was surrounded by the Washington Wizards teammates and even shared an elevator with Paul "The Truth" Pierce. In addition, Meagan Good was my neighbor!
Heading up to the 25th floor, I stayed in room 2510 and upon entrance, I could not believe my eyes; I was in immediate awe — my jaw hit the marble ground — that could not have been my room!
Little ol' me stayed in the luxurious honeymoon "Deluxe Master Suite." I had a massive living room, an office space, a mini kitchen and bar, two bathrooms, two phone sets, three TVs (one in the living, one in the master bedroom, and one in the master bathroom), a master bedroom with a king-sized bed and a million dollar view of the entire New York City. My master bathroom included a soak in deep Turkish marble tub, complete with a glass enclosed walk-in shower with seats built in and custom his and hers vanities (I obviously didn't have a his to share). I also had plenty of closet space; big enough for me to hide in! In addition, my room was ultra high-tech — I was able to effortlessly control my room with state of the art one touch Control 4 technology and my room included a a 42-inch LCD flat-screen high definition television with DVD/CD and an iPOD docking station. My televisions and phones greeted me each time with, "Welcome Christina Cheng" so although I stayed alone in such a massive space, I had technology keep me occupied. As an added bonus (not that it mattered in my case), I was able to turn my "one bedroom suite" into two adjacent studios to create an expansive two bedroom suite with my living room. Honestly, I just had a blast snacking from my mini bar and exploring my gigantic room (which served as an apartment)! Such a blessed experience.
CIPRIANI 25 BROADWAY
Shortly after checking in, I literally had 15 minutes to throw on workout gear and meet the Nike Canada crew in the hotel lobby where a party bus was awaiting to bring the team to our next surprise workout adventure.
We arrived at Cipriani, a New York City Landmark, located in lower Manhattan. This astonishing Great Hall is best described as an Italian neo-renaissance masterpiece. The energy and adrenaline was insane as it was filled with over 300 athletic women from around the world! Nonetheless, I was distracted by the beautiful and intricate detailing of the building. It was designed by Benjamin Wistar Morris and features 65 foot high ceilings, soaring marble columns, magnificent inlaid floors and murals painted by Ezra Winter. The grand space was transformed into a futuristic event where over 300 women apart of the Nike media launch summit were invited to participate in a live NTC workout lead by Nike Master Trainers -- Eva Redpath and Traci Copeland. The atmosphere was insane! It felt like I was entering a serious laser tag battle. The lights were out and replaced with laser lights and neon glow in the dark lighting affects. Electro-dance mixes filled the space and got the crowd pumped and ready to go! A robotic female voice helped the Nike Master Trainers demonstrate and explain each move. It was hands down, the craziest and most fun workout experience to date! Definitely one to remember for life.
S P R I N G S T U D I O S
The following morning, myself and the rest of the Nike Canada ladies visited Spring Studios for a special panel discussion on the evolution of women in sports today with a group of professional women athletes such as: Allyson Felix (American/Olympian track and field sprint athlete), Carissa Moore (professional Hawaiian surfer), Skylar Diggins (American professional basketball player), Joan Benoit Samuelson (American/Olympian marathon runner), Li Na (Chinese professional tennis player), and Sarah Reinertsen ( American paratriathlete and former Paralympic track athlete). We also got a firsthand look at the latest Holiday 2014 collections and upcoming Spring/Summer 2015 collections. Everything is drool-worthy and to die for! I legitimately want everything!
Nike’s Spring/Summer 2015 Women’s collections feature new performance looks and designer collaborations catering to every element of a modern woman’s athletic lifestyle. These include new products across Nike’s running, training and sportswear categories, ranging from high-performance tights to Nike Flyknit footwear to innovative new sports bras.
N I K E x J F S
Nike Lab presents NIKE x JFS — A women's training collection created in partnership with German designer Johanna Schneider. She has long been inspired by the human body and its architecture, and had come to think of clothing as a sort of "Personal Architecture", with standard parts that can be adapted to individual needs and preferences.
Motivated by Nike's on-going exploration of modular design, a process that began in the early 2000's, the NIKE x JFS collection is a modular system applied to apparel, "For me, clothing is like entering a room," Schneider says. "I'm creating environments, and the ideal environment has to be modular. For some occasions, I want to be more covered up or I need more support. On other occasions, I want my clothing to breathe: I want it to open up."
Throughout the collection, movement is paramount — the garments not only facilitate the wearer's movement but are also enlivened by it. Outfits can be built up layer by layer for different stages of a workout, including the transition periods surrounding exercise.
The entire collection will be available in February, 2015. My favorite piece is the center item that mimics a modern Japanese kimono. Almost very Hemut Lang like. So dreamy. It's a definitely must have in my closet!
N I K E x P E D R O L O U R E N Ç O
The Nike x Pedro Lourenço collection is my ultimate favorite amongst the latest collections viewed thus far. It speaks to me the most and flows organically with my sense of style and simplistic yet intricate aesthetic.
The Nike Women's Media Summit Showcased the latest performance innovation with couture craftsmanship in the Nike x Pedro Lourenço collection which reinvents classic women's training styles through new cuts, shapes, and details.
Pedro Lourenço is considered one of Brazil's sharpest young design talent who understands that process goes deeper than the physical form. It’s about seeking new technologies, materials, and methods of construction to problem-solve and push society forward.This insight inspires Lourenço's first-ever training collection. Possessing a passion to evolve the way women’s clothing is crafted, the Sao Paulo native designed each piece to enhance natural performance without compromising aesthetics. The result is a seamless blend of femininity and functionality—luxurious in fit, feel, and form.
M O D E L F I T by J U S T I N G E L B A N D
Before leaving the city, myself and a few of the Nike Canada women joined an intense NTC "Model Fit" workout with Victoria's Secret master trainer, Justin Gelband. As part of the Nike Media Launch Summit, it was with great honor that I felt the burn alongside 25 other motivating women in the media field across the globe! It was an amazing class! As an added bonus, and one of the highlights of my trip, I shared a workout class with my all time female crush, Adrienne Ho. I cannot thank Nike Women enough for such an amazing experience. I feel extremely blessed and thankful.
Now that Nike Women's Week has come to an end, I've learned so much and met so many amazing and inspiring women from around the world. I came back motivated, more appreciative and stronger (physically and mentally) than ever and ready to Keep It Moving for the rest of my life!
E N R O U T E to N E W A R K A I R P O R T
I was stuck in New York City traffic en route to Newark Airport to head back home to Toronto, alongside fellow Nike gal pal, Sasha Exeter. Of course there's no better way to kill time like taking ridiculous selfies. Besides, our driver encouraged it and even provided extra lighting. Also, he was bumping Hot97 and as per usual, I was jamming.
Till next time, NYC. Thank you for always looking out and making each visit sweeter than the last. Love you forever and ever.
PS. Someone needs to remind me to pack an extra carryon bag when travelling with Nike next time. The amount of gifted items received was insane! Nonetheless, I'm very appreciative. Thank you Nike for loving me as much as I love you.