Riccardo Tisci’s latest work with NikeLab aims to propel contemporary sports style into a new, more elegant era. The Italian fashion designer draws from the past, combining different generations of sportswear icons to form a dynamic collection of off-court styles and accessories for both men and women.
“I live for sports," says Tisci. "There's always been sportswear in my style, and I believe the mix of sport, street and elegance is really good.”
Tisci’s personal style is also on the vanguard of contemporary trend. Look at any of the current crop of NBA stars, for example, and you’ll note each mixes sportswear and luxury goods with relative ease. There’s also a comfort in intermingling bold graphic pieces with timeless classics.
I believe the mix of sport, street and elegance is really good.
This is evident not only in clothing, but footwear too. Sneakers, of course, are fundamental to basketball culture. While the players cement styles through on-court heroics, those who adopt certain silhouettes make those shoes icons. In this context, the Nike Air Force 1 is an undisputed favorite. It’s also Tisci’s go-to shoe. “I'm obsessed with the shoe," he says. "It's very clean and pure, but at the same time elaborate. It’s the shoe that best represents my style and my collaboration with Nike,” he says.
In Tisci’s eyes, basketball players don’t just provide style inspiration, they’re heroes. This latest Nike collaboration plays off this idea with another series of graphics: logos for a fictional team, the Victorious Minotaurs, which gives him the opportunity to envision the collection as part of a true off-court uniform.
“In the 90s, basketball players became kind of like rock stars,” he says. “But now, they are more than rock stars. They’re superhuman — representative of historic mythology.”
The new Nike x RT collection will be available February 16.