The spring NikeCourt collection brings '90s-inspired color blocking and a wave of NikeCourt heritage embroidery to Melbourne. Some of the references are instantly clear from within the DNA of Nike Tennis. The sublimated denim and checkered print, for example, were both rocked by two famously irreverent stars, while the bright colors and crinkled nylon are reminiscent of Nike’s watersport line from the '90s.
But another detail from the collection is felt by touch alone: materials that serve up a vintage texture, but are made for the physical dynamism of today’s game.
This comes direct from player insight. Speaking with athletes during preparation of the Melbourne collection, the NikeCourt design team found something important: Cotton T-shirts are a favorite for practice attire – far from a material of the future.
“A lot of our players are used to practicing in cotton tees,” says Abby Swancutt, global apparel design director for NikeCourt. “They like the way it absorbs the sweat, how it protects them from the sun and how they feel more comfortable."
The goal of NikeCourt designers was to combine performance benefits with the heftier vintage textures that players loved. While the sweater-knit past of tennis was once its ceiling for performance, Nike’s innovation of materials means that textures of all feels can amplify competitive play, not cancel it out. Like Swancutt says, “Our material development has come so far that we’re able to get these materials that feel cotton-rich, but still wick away the sweat during gameplay.”
The full NikeCourt Melbourne collection is available on nike.com and at select retailers.