Nike on Monday revealed new football jerseys and continues its work to expand its women’s business via a three-year deal working with UEFA Women’s Football.
The uniform unveil, to be worn by 14 teams for the summer games in France, reflect new designs, use of recycled plastic bottles and input from some of the athletes.
The company earlier this year hosted a media event in Culver City, Calif., to show the designs, hosting reporters and athletes who weighed in on the kits and future Nike women’s collections that were partially informed by the uniforms.
The fit appeared to be one of the chief considerations for the players and proved a difficult task considering the mix of needs.
“I just think the kit nowadays is fitted more to our bodies,” said U.S. women’s team forward Crystal Dunn, in-between takes for a Nike photo shoot. “I think obviously when you’re catering to the women’s side versus the men’s side, people tend to want to flare our jerseys when that’s actually the opposite of what we want. We want stuff that fits the shape of our bodies so the kits fit very well for everybody. We come in all different shapes and sizes and I think everyone’s pretty content with the evolution of these kits.”
U.S. women’s team forward Mal Pugh agreed the fit was what she liked the most, although she pointed our her preference is to wear a uniform that is not so fitted.
“This is my favorite kit that I’ve seen and I think it brings back the ’99 World Cup and the details that went into it are really meaningful and, as a player, wearing it and feeling good in it will translate into your game,” Pugh said. “The shorts previously have been an issue and I feel like sometimes they’ll make the uniforms tight and formfitting. It’s difficult because some players do like tight and formfitting and other players, like myself, like it looser and baggier. It’s definitely hard to have that balance.”
Much of what was learned and gleaned from the development of the uniforms also helped inform the buildout and what vice president of apparel for global football Scott Munson called a “reset” of Nike’s training pieces and women’s fashion collection, which was also on display during Nike’s Culver City event.
“This is inspiration for an entire collection that we’ve got, too,” Munson said. “So you’ve got training and lifestyle product that’s all going to take inspiration from these designs. We’ve been on this journey for three years.”
For the off-the-field looks, the company went back to its archives, referencing pieces from the Nineties all the way to the early Aughts and includes a top that can become more fitted with the pull of a draw cord, a tank with laser-cut detailing, tights, shorts with high-low hem detailing, a waistband where the draw cord is removed and expanded sizing. That last point is something Jess Lomax, Nike design director for women’s apparel, said the company continues to expand more as it designs its women’s collection. There was also a host of new designs in the company’s bras that include styles playing with the straps on certain pieces, hidden pockets for functionality and the company’s Flyknit used in its shoe yarns.
“You’ll see a lot more in style coming from Nike as well,” said Nicole Rendone, the brand’s design director of bras and innovation.
The preview continued to press upon the company’s push to evolve and grow its women’s business. It has been and continues to be a topic of conversation across the various sports the firm is involved in, whether it be related to technical apparel or more fashion, day-to-day pieces.
“We’re really focused on this modern-day woman, who is on the go and out and about,” Lomax said. “She’s going from day to night, from work to play. It’s high style with high performance.”