For Spring Summer 2010 Nike Sportswear was inspired by two of the great sporting icons of the 21st Century. Brasil football and Kobe Bryant. But these apparel collections are not about the purple and gold of LA. Or the yellow and green of this football-obsessed nation. These are stories built “behind the curtains” of what you see on the back pages.
The footwear on offer for this season is a classic Nike Sportswear tale. Take something and make it new. Make it better. In the mid-1980s the Vengeance, Vortex and Vector arrived to offer runners individual alternatives. In 2010 that doesn’t seem too revolutionary. But imagine taken the technological revolutions of the 21st century and putting them into a classic. 1980 + 2010 = The V-Series+.
NIKE SPORTSWEAR CANARINHO COLLECTION
Honor and respect are earned. Providing an uncompromising take on the spirit of Brasil’s football culture, the Nike Sportswear Canarinho collection redefines the sport’s aesthetic, distilling the essence and amplifying the passion into far tougher territories. From a country where the culture of football underpins everything, the creativity, toughness, desire and domination that makes the Seleção XI so feared and carries a menace that’s unmatched in any other field.
It begins with the little things—even the “Little Canary” has toughened up visually with a tattoo-style, ultra-detailed treatment. Just as Nike Sportswear remasters iconic footwear and apparel, the totem of Brasil’s undisputed sporting mastery gets a workout. Shield graphics are based on local traditions and stark regional imagery, while the recurring hatchet coat-of-arms brings the old to the new, reflecting an unrelenting passion that bleeds into every community and every subculture.
This celebration of unrelenting attitude explores the depth of the game and the disruption that the Brasilian team brought O Groupo Da Morte (“the Group of Death”) that began with their 1958 triumph and continues to this day. Every group with Brasil in it becomes the O Groupo Da Morte.
Nike Sportswear’s interpretation of Canarinho takes it to a new space—one that’s tougher, arresting and definitive. Comfort and fit remain flawless, but to capture the emotive spirit of Brasil’s football legacy, a crafted feel adds authenticity to these pieces. Just as football is imbued in the DNA of every Brasilian—whether they’re a devout fan or not—as it seeps to street level, there’s meanings to every aspect of the collection. Brasilian-Portuguese language, local identities and a progressive treatment celebrate those who were born to play.
The Canarinho Destroyer Jacket’s technology and tradition is perfectly pitched, tougher than ever and paying tribute to those who played for the right to wear it. The jacket’s crafted applications link to the t-shirts and headwear that complete the collection. This is a true approach to defining pure football spirit. Honor the team and respect the culture.
NIKE SPORTSWEAR K.O.B.E COLLECTION
“It’s got to be different.”
That’s how this project between NIKE and Kobe Bryant began—a basic brief from one of the most demanding athletes in the world. The challenge was to create something unique, authentic and innovative. The K.O.B.E designs an iconic athlete’s road to success, as a collection of staple outerwear and apparel, delivering the very best blends of form, function and personality.
With education as the graphic foundation, this is a lesson in Kobe’s life and inspirations delivered differently—if you’re going to depict the essence of an individual, you’ve got to opt for an individual approach.
This collection is inspired by the battle for knowledge of self, challenging the status quo and celebrating those who destroyed barriers to get to a new space.
The badges and embroidery on each K.O.B.E piece provide a unique look at his life that breaks down the name. To Know is reflected in the black spade that harks back to his high school sports logo and early history. To Originate is represented by the open book that reflects culture. To Battle is visible in the reinterpreted Italian soccer champions badge in Pan-African flag colors that—among other meanings—reflect Kobe’s love for the flair and speed of ‘the beautiful game’. To Elevate, a laurel represents a time spent honing his craft in Italy as a youngster.
Nike Sportswear’s attention-to-detail is visible in the application of several fonts inspired by varsity, collegiate, pioneers and sixties graphic design. Even Kobe’s jersey number rendered in Roman numerals riffs on both a traditional look and his European experiences.
The timeless athletic apparel redefined that’s included here is led by a NSW Destroyer Jacket that tells this entire story, following a lineage of people who broke the mould and destroyed the old to birth the new.
A wool and leather Destroyer jacket is complemented by a light weight cotton twill variation, cotton fleece classics with a twist, a collection of t-shirts and bold raglan designs, all talking the same visual language.
NIKE SPORTSWEAR V-SERIES
For Spring 2011 Nike Sportswear pays tribute to a collection that altered running shoe design. The V-Series+ brings back a trio of classics in their original form and reworks them with modern craft and innovation.
Runners have different needs. NIKE recognized this from day one and designed the original V-Series collection to provide three shoes that served three unique running styles. The result was cutting edge innovation that provided choice for runners beyond what was possible in a solitary shoe.
The series first installment was the Air Vengeance providing superior lightweight cushioning and speed. A Poly-Pag and Duramesh red and black upper, unique angled lace design and full-length Nike Air unit grabbed attention while delivering cushy performance. The second shoe, the Air Vector (later renamed the Venture) was released in grey and black as the answer to extra stability needs. That same year, an all-rounder in the shape of the blue and gold Vortex design carried the Air Wedge application to provide stability without compromising weight, completing the V-Series trinity. Three shoes—one price tag.
All athletes had to do was take their pick and reap the rewards—standards were set and each shoe was a bestseller. Over 25 years later, each silhouette remains iconic. This was the challenge to the Nike Sportswear team. How do you expand on that? How about taking the original brief and answer it with NIKE’s new weapons of choice in the battle against weight? From trail to track to street, the Lunar V-Series+ merges athletic heritage with contemporary innovation.
In terms of grams, it’s a question of how low can you go? Lunarlon foam takes over where Phylon and polyurethane broke ground. The No-Sew build on the upper recreates those classic panels, details and silhouettes, but lightens the load. Modern meshes are significantly lighter and more breathable too, but the colors are back. Immediately recognizable details like that unique eyelet on the Vengeance or the Venture and Vortex’s reflective accents have been reinterpreted and retained.
The Lunar Vengeance+ stays true to the original quest for superior speed by utilizing a sleeker more minimal midsole akin to that of the groundbreaking LunarGlide+. The Lunar Venture+ gets the definitive response to a question of stability via the Dynamic Support application that the bestselling Lunar Glide range has been gaining plaudits around the world. Seeing as the Lunar Vortex+ needs to cover all angles, it seemed like a good time to homage that Air Wedge by debuting the Lunar Air sole unit—that’s two breakthroughs in a single shoe.
Whether you want the V-Series as it first arrived, in a perfectly resurrected vintage form, or as it would look if NIKEtook the brief in the present day, the options are back.