RUSH HOUR: Nike believes that navigating the city is a sport unto itself and its new Techpack collection, of transitional sportswear, was designed to see customers through full 12- to 14-hour days.
The new collection will drop in Europe exclusively on the Nike app on Dec. 21. It will then be made available at all Nike stores, as of Jan. 10.
The collection marks a new strategy for the brand “to create with data-informed design.”
“This is really the first season we took a step back and looked at the way consumers were using the product. We spend an incredible amount of time working with athletes or people whose training is their prime pursuit and we know everything about them, so we said ‘Why don’t we apply some of that data-informed methodology to someone navigating the city?’” said Kurt Parker, vice president of apparel design at Nike.
“We pulled together a very international design team and found the insights to be very universal. The kid in Shanghai was living a very similar existence to the kid in London and parts of the U.S.,” Parker added.
Pieces include core performance products such as training tights, hoodies, T-shirts and shorts, including Nike’s popular Windrunner style. One of the key product innovations in the new Techpack collection is the use of engineered knits which Parker claims enables better breathability, versatility and thermo regulation — so that wearers can easily move between controlled environments to the outdoors, from morning to night. The collection starts at 39.99 pounds.
“The duration of an ‘everyday’ event is 12 to 14 hours and we had to build something that people can authentically perform in and carry out on the street. We’re in a really interesting place where manufacturing processes have caught up with technology. We can now pair this up with a designer’s imagination,” Parker said.
To design the collection, Parker brought together three different design teams from the brand’s running, training and Techpack divisions, who were tasked to marry performance with style.
The focus was on products that cater to running and training, which form the foundation of any workout, especially in class-based gym workouts that are increasing in popularity in metropolitan cities.
The brand also paid close attention to helping women better transition from the gym into their everyday setting, by revamping two key pieces: sportswear bras and performance-based skirts.
According to customer feedback, the skirt was a silhouette that Nike’s consumers wanted to be refreshed. The new style is informed by men’s training shorts and incorporates more utilitarian elements such as pockets. “We talked to a lot of girls who aren’t confident in just wearing [leggings] in the city, but now they can layer a skirt over it with a place to carry their phone and keys without having to do a complete wardrobe change. No matter how you approach sport, this collection would let you move through that day and take you from morning into night,” Parker added.