Working with creative partners pushes the Nike design team into new areas of exploration. Latest collaboration to date? The NikeLab x sacai collection. Through a unique partnership, Nike and the internationally-renowned fashion house sacai reimagine Nike classics. Resulting in unexpected; disruptive silhouettes that redefine sport style.
Chitose Abe is the designer and creative force behind sacai. She established the brand in 1999 after 8 years of working with the Junya Watanabe collection at Comme des Garçons. While her collections may appear to be about femininity, Abe’s interest is in creating clothes that are entirely unique and timeless, innovative and experimental. Juxtapositions of contrasting textures of fabrics such as knits with super fine wovens and usage of techniques based on reinterpretations of patterns of the garment transform the pieces into unexpected shapes and silhouettes. To Abe, who is influenced by observing her surroundings and functions of daily life, the sacai collection has a distinctive elegance that is based on renderings and transformations of basic and classical items. The result is a collection of items that can transition easily between various occasions and not only reserved for special opportunities.
A design maverick, Abe was eager to blend Nike’s material innovation and understanding of the body in motion with her unique style and unconventional construction. Based on traditional male Nike silhouettes, she transformed them into new styles with a feminine, modern edge.
“I’ve always been inspired by classics,” Abe says. “Working with traditional silhouettes and ideas that often come from utility or performance-based sportswear, I’m interested in creating new hybrids that combine different fabrics and shapes to create an unexpected yet wearable result.”
Abe is a master of dissecting classic and universal garments and reworking them to establish a masculine versus feminine interplay. Her passion for hybrids is apparent in her playful take on materials and in the way she contrasts textures of fabrics such as knits with fine wovens.
This form of disruption has become the hallmark of her sacai label, and is now reflected in the new NikeLab x sacai women’s collection, set to launch globally March 19.