“A perfect garment is defined by how it moves and interacts with the body,” says Johanna Schneider, Sr. Design Director, NikeWomen Sportswear. “Feminine silhouettes, in particular, require a balance of flattering different parts of the body, as well as making them so that the athlete doesn’t think about the garment. Perhaps even more importantly, it’s about the way the athlete feels in it.”
This balance — of fit and function, and of feel and movement — drives Schneider’s design philosophy. While training at ESMOD fashion design school in Berlin, she focused on fashion and performance apparel. From that foundation, Schneider has spent close to a decade working to combine her interest in action sports (she was an avid snow and skateboarder) with street style, most notably on projects with Acronym, Stone Island and NikeLab.
These elements of Schneider’s past inform her present design instincts.
Nike Sportswear’s Spring ‘17 Tech Knit collection was developed by a team of Knit experts at Nike, including NSW Innovation Designer Jessica Lomax, to strike an equilibrium of sport and style by considering both the material’s capacity and the essence of “closet staples.”
“We know there are key essentials that live in every woman’s closet: the fitted leather jacket, denim jeans, the plain white tee,” reminds Schneider. The idea is to distill and then marry the essence of these garments with Nike materials, like Tech Knit, and methods of make. As Schneider puts it, “We at Nike can uniquely offer a sportswear perspective and react more visually without compromising the benefits of the garment.”
The new collection is designed to function within a seasonal temperature transition. “We are, during spring, permanently exposed to climate changes in our immediate environment. Coming from outdoor to indoor, we’re feeling cold and warm and deal with wet and dry conditions,” Schneider explains. “The quote ‘look good, feel good, play good’ inspired us to design into her head-to-toe look. We built a collection of innovative styles within Nike Tech Pack (includes Nike Tech Knit, Nike Tech Fleece, Tops and Tech Wovens), which offers diverse styling options for our individual needs.”
This season, the second for Nike Tech Knit, the innovation is apparent in the pattern construction and, ultimately, in the form and appearance of the material. There are elements of performance and comfort, but also the intangible of being “pulled-together.”
The new Nike Tech Knit Pant is “a little more tapered, and a little bit more sophisticated” than previous incarnations. There’s also a Nike Tech Knit Tee — “a boy cut T-shirt, feminized so it’s more of a mock neck” — and the Nike Tech Knit Jacket, which draws inspiration from the iconic Nike Windrunner and serves as a lightweight parka. The remainder of the collection rounds out the essentials concept.
Inspired by the manifold ways that today’s consumers style wardrobe essentials, Schneider and the Nike Sportswear design teams have produced new Nike Tech Knit silhouettes that can be easily worn together or on their own.
The Spring 2017 Nike Tech Pack Collection is available for men and women starting January 26 on nike.com and at Nike Sportswear retailers.