Jun Takahashi knows running is a battle between two opposite emotions. To him running is a struggle between joy and agony, elation and exhaustion, persistence and surrender. It is a crusade waged by both the body and the mind. The Nike x Undercover Gyakusou Spring 2014 Collection visually articulates this yin-yang with contrasting colors and materials. It also employs the latest performance running innovations, including Nike Sweat Map ventilation, to give runners an edge against adversity.
Working closely with Nike’s Apparel Innovation Design Team, Takahashi is exposed to the latest advanced technologies informed by body-led research. Taking thermal body mapping—a diagnostic technique that charts changes in body temperature—as a starting point, Nike Sweat Map ventilation combines an engineered jacquard weave with pinpoint laser perforations. The sophisticated weave optically and tactically articulates the upper body’s heat map, while the perforations provide aeration at the points where body temperature is the highest and likely to rise with exercise. The resulting pattern appears on everything from the men’s Sweat Map Jacket, Dri-FIT Sweat Map 3/4 Top, and Dri-FIT Sweat Map Tank to the women’s Dri-FIT Sweat Map S/S Top. Sweat Map ventilation on the base layers and jacket are also designed to perfectly align, maximizing performance benefits.
The emotional and physical dichotomy of running, meanwhile, is represented throughout the collection by color blocking, gradation and text. In the men’s collection, the season’s hues are paired with urban grays. In the women’s collection, they are combined with neutrals and each other, with the occasional inclusion of a tonal python print. Duality is also embodied in Dri-FIT Graphic Tees, via conflicting words (like Love and Hate). These performance textiles form additional top layers, such as the men’s Lightweight Jacket and Dri-FIT Wide Tank as well as the women’s Convertible Lightweight Jacket and Dri-FIT Tank. The collection’s bottoms also provide runners with a comprehensive array of battle attire. Men can select between the Dri-FIT 5-Inch Woven Short and the shorter, lined Dri-FIT Woven Raceday Short—or opt for the Dri-FIT 3/4 Tights. Women’s choices include unlined Dri-FIT Woven Raceday Shorts and Dri-FIT Long Tights.
Footwear further expresses Takahashi's inspiration with yin-yang color blocking on either side of the Nike Lunar Speed AXL. The sneaker’s dual-tone, lightweight, breathable mesh uppers are texturized by tonal python embossed leather, while the midsoles feature soft, yet responsive Lunarlon cushioning. A rubber outsole with flex grooves for traction and a natural range of motion facilitates a better run and reiterates Takahashi's hypothesis: In the battle of running, the athlete always emerges victorious.
The Nike x Undercover Gyakusou Spring 2014 Collection launches globally on March, 1.