Nike designs are rooted in athlete insights and scientific data. This information guides the Nike Women’s design team as it creates performance apparel that aims to help female athletes achieve their goals.
It is a fundamental mission to have this apparel perform at the highest level. But for Nike designers, the apparel must also be on the cutting edge of style.
“At Nike, we have a zero-compromise philosophy,” says Julie Igarashi, Vice President of Global Design for Nike Women’s Training. “The female athlete shouldn’t have to choose between looking good and working out.”
This thought permeates women’s training and running apparel design. Every detail is considered, from athlete insights and scientific data to materials and colors.
Athlete Insights and Scientific Data
All Nike designs begin and end with the athlete. Designers, developers and researchers listen to the female athlete, study the way she moves and how her body behaves. These insights, spanning athlete anecdotes to research findings, provide a guiding light as designers create apparel. Prototypes are then tested on athletes in motion. The ultimate goal is a finished product that helps the female athlete perform her best.
The Women’s Training Nike Pro Hypercool Long-Sleeve Top epitomizes this athlete and data-informed design. A sweat map provided by the Nike Explore Team Sport Research Lab indicates that female athletes tend to sweat more in the middle of their backs. Armed with this knowledge, designers engineered in increased ventilation in this key sweat zone.
Like all Nike Pro apparel, the Nike Pro Hypercool Long-Sleeve Top is designed to fit close to the body.
“We focus on eliminating distractions and creating apparel that moves with the body,” says Nike Women’s Training Apparel Design Director Jamie Lee. “The only thing the female athlete should have to worry about is her form, not the fit of her apparel.”
Athlete insights also played a major role in the development of the new Nike Impossibly Light Jacket for running. Designers sought out to create a jacket that was distraction-free and incredibly lightweight, but also provided light protection from wind and rain. The Impossibly Light Jacket weighs just three ounces. Its translucent nylon material has a durable, water-repellant finish, and the jacket packs into its own pocket for easy storage when it’s time to layer down.
The Nike Pro Hypercool Long-Sleeve Top and Nike Impossibly Light Jacket are now available in select retailers and on nike.com.
This zero-distraction mission extends to materials as well. The design team obsesses feel, working with performance materials that are soft to the touch.
Nike Dri-FIT Knit fabric can be found in both women’s training and running apparel. Ultra-soft and lightweight, the fabric is knit to provide stretch and cooling where female athletes need it most. Areas of seamless construction help ensure a smooth fit so the female athlete can execute her yoga pose or run her half marathon free from distraction.
The Women’s Training Nike Dri-FIT Knit Pant and Running Nike Dri-FIT Knit Textured V-Neck Short Sleeve shirt are now available in select retailers and on nike.com.
Performance materials are also often experimented with and translated into lifestyle designs at Nike. The resulting adaptations manifest themselves in the form of Nike Sportswear apparel, which equips the female athlete who is constantly on the move. These offerings provide her with innovative silhouettes for those moments before and after her boot camp, run or yoga class.
Offering the ultimate in lightweight warmth, Nike Tech Fleece is an example of this performance and lifestyle design convergence. Plush foam between layers of cotton jersey creates a tri-layer fabric that provides comfort and warmth. A smooth jersey facing gives the garments a modern, streamlined look both inside and out, while the inner foam enhances the fleece’s functionality.
Mobility is also a key consideration in Tech Fleece designs. New in Fall 2014 is the Nike Tech Butterfly Jacket, which helps provide flexibility and utility for everyday wear. The silhouette features an oversized hood, crossover back details and an asymmetric front zipper for both enhanced mobility and a stylish look.
The Nike Tech Butterfly Jacket will be available on nike.com beginning Aug. 21 and in select Nike Sportswear retailers beginning Aug. 28.
Color is a critical component of both performance and style.
“We believe that when a female athlete feels like she looks great, she’ll perform even better,” says Kim Kovel, the Nike Women’s Training Color Design Lead. “Color is a great motivator. She really responds to color and its power to help her feel strong, confident, energized and ready to challenge herself.”
An entire team at Nike, spanning innovation, design, development and operations, is dedicated to color. Members of this team travel the globe for inspirations and work with athletes to gain insights.
Once an inspiration emerges, the team will search Nike’s expansive color library to find a match. If a match doesn’t exist, a new color is formulated. Extensive testing helps ensure that the seasonal palette not only works under various lighting conditions and on different athletes, but also translates to Nike’s performance fabrics.
About Karlie Kloss
Karlie Kloss is widely considered one of the world’s preeminent models. Her passion for sport, however, began well before her modeling career. Kloss learned the importance of movement and strength from classical ballet training in her youth. She still uses ballet to keep her body healthy and strong, but now complements that with regular yoga, running and Nike Training Club workouts.
“I love different strengthening exercises and intense workouts such as the ones I’ve done with Nike Training Club Master Trainers,” Kloss says. “I like to switch it up. I think that’s the best way to really challenge your body and become stronger in every way.”
Kloss recently spent a day working out in New York City with Nike Training Club Master Trainer Traci Copeland. While wearing the latest Fall 2014 styles, Kloss engaged in both a studio and High Intensity Training workout. She also went for a run with a pair of local New York run crew members.
Products from the Fall 2014 Nike Women’s collection are now available in select Nike retailers and on nike.com.