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Take Two: Sphere and Body Spa Bow for Fall

NEW YORK — Nike and Donna Karan struck markedly different poses to unveil new additions to their activewear.<br><br>Nike executives headed to the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum last Thursday night to show off Nike Sphere, a technical group for...

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NEW YORK — Nike and Donna Karan struck markedly different poses to unveil new additions to their activewear.

Nike executives headed to the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum last Thursday night to show off Nike Sphere, a technical group for long-distance runners and other serious athletes. The running singlet designed for Olympic marathoners at the 2000 Summer Games, the item that prompted Nike to pursue Sphere on a commercial level, is on display in the museum’s “Skin: Surface, Substance and Design” exhibition, which runs through Sept. 15. Nike is a sponsor of the exhibition.

But last week’s event spotlighted Nike’s newest attractions: tennis skirts with sewn-in bike shorts, zip-front hoodies, thermal tops and tanks, all shown on models in the museum’s foyer. Items are made of such 3-D materials as a three-ply fabric with a layer of foam mesh between two layers of stretch knit and hit stores this month.

Olympic speed skater Derek Parra, who competed in a “Swift Skin” suit made of Sphere-like fabrics, ducked in for a surprise visit to lend his endorsement to the product.

Donna Karan went with a decidedly different take for the unveiling of her Body Spa collection the night before. Some yoginis from the Jivamukti Yoga Center practiced yoga wearing Body Spa in the garden of the designer’s Collection store. Nimble women struck lotus, tree and other yoga poses wearing relaxed looks such as tanks, camisoles and loose-fitting pants with a wide rolled-down waistband.

As of October, Body Spa will be offered exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue stores in 13 cities and nonexclusively at Saks stores in 12 other locales, while Neiman Marcus will sell the line nonexclusively in 24 cities.

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