In October of last year, I had the opportunity to attend the Nike Women's Media Summit in New York City where many female athletes and influencers from around the world gathered in unison to inspire one another through various scheduled workouts, meet various female athletes and olympians, and view the latest Nike Women SS15 collections from collaborated designers. One of the collections I immediately fell in love with was the NIKE LAB x Johanna Schneider collaboration. The aesthetics, silhouettes, and use of her simplistic yet intricate lines and details, and clean neutral colourways had me weak!
It was as if the universe was on my side because last Thursday, I received an email from Jonathan+Olivia, a Toronto based boutique who reached out to me in regard to the NIKELAB x JFS collection:
I was beyond ecstatic! Since I work right by Jonathan+Olivia, I popped by during my lunch and upon entrance, I was greeted by the pieces. They were just as stunning as I remembered. Without hesitation, I immediately tried on the JFS Sleeveless Cape and as you can see, I swaddled myself in all its glory. I remember drooling over it when I saw it beautifully displayed on the mannequin in NYC at Spring Studios. I must have taken 100 pictures of the cape from every angle! Nonetheless, it's finally tangible and it's finally mine!
Following the beliefs of Nike Women's design ethos, NikeLab presents Johanna Schneider, a women's training collection made modular for the female body in motion. Partnering with the Berlin-based designer, Nike brings a new aesthetic to women’s training through a capsule collection designed for ultimate versatility.
NikeLab x JFS collection features outfits that build, layer by layer for different stages of a workout, including the transitional periods of warm-up and cool-down. Based on the wearer’s activity, the garments are designed to be fully adaptable, changing volume and position on the body for different stages of use.
NikeLab is a breeding ground for exploration, and collaboration with athletes and independent designers is an integral and longstanding tradition within Nike’s design program. Jamie Lee, Nike Design Director for Global Women’s Training, worked closely with Schneider throughout the development of the collection, fusing Nike’s wealth of technical and performance insight with Schneider’s modular design perspective. “Today’s female athlete needs full versatility,” Lee says. “This collection is about building her workout wardrobe but also making it functional for her day-to-day life.”
"All garments of the collection are built to move and interact with the female body in motion,” Schneider says. “My idea of feminine silhouettes is a balance of hiding and revealing parts of the body. I don't want the athlete to be distracted by the garment while she is working out."
Every detail in the collection is designed with purpose and performance in mind. Schneider relied on Nike’s expertise with innovation applications in the placement of laser-cut patterns for breathability and the use of lightweight bonded finishes. The collection also makes extensive use of Nike signature performance materials such as Dri-FIT. Color choice was another obsession. Schneider states: “I wanted to build a sophisticated selection that looks pleasant against different skin tones. Colors with an organic origin give us a familiar yet natural impression and create a gentle contrast to the technical aspect of the collection."
The perfect base layer for training, the Nike Pro printed tights and bra feature Schneiders’ hand-painted artwork that is mapped to the body and designed to highlight key muscle zone interaction during exercise.
The long sleeve crop top is a workout staple with an ergonomic fit and a distinctive zipped mock neck. It mixes Dri-FIT and cool-touch cotton jersey with a mesh gusset insert for movement and breathability. Sleeve thumbholes help to anchor the garment during vigorous training moves like burpees or squat jumps.
The culottes shorts boast a striking design that emphasizes the body in motion with a full and circular leg and asymmetrical hem. Ideal for a dance or studio class, the mesh-lined shorts can be worn either over tights or on their own. The Dri-FIT stretch-woven fabric includes high side slits and a laser-cut pattern for increased breathability.
An extremely versatile outer layer, the cape is the pinnacle piece of the collection with three different wear options: open, cinched closed or tied around the hips as warm-up skirt.
With a minimal two-layer construction, the studio wrap offers freedom of movement and a flexible, barefoot-like experience geared for yoga, barre or Pilates.
This collection evolves Nike’s ongoing exploration of modular design, a process that began in the early 2000s with the development ZVEZDOCHKA, created in partnership with industrial designer Marc Newson. NikeLab x JFS is a perfect example of what Nike aims to achieve through its collaborations with innovators. As NIKE, Inc. President and CEO Mark Parker says, “The best collaboration is one that brings partners to places that neither could have reached on their own.”
The NikeLab x JFS Spring 2015 collection officially launched on Feb. 26 and will be available at nikelab.nike.com, NikeLab locations and select retailers globally, including Jonathan+Olivia in Toronto, Canada.