Nike continues to collaborate with Jun Takahashi’s Undercover on both apparel and footwear for the Spring 2014 season. This time around, the two have explored running as a struggle between joy and agony, elation and exhaustion, persistence and surrender. Thus, the collection articulates this yin-yang with contrasting colors and materials, while implementing the latest performance running innovations, including Nike Sweat Map ventilation.
Working closely with Nike’s Apparel Innovation Design Team, Takahashi used advanced technologies informed by body-led research. Taking thermal body mapping – a diagnostic technique that charts changes in body temperature – as a starting point, Nike Sweat Map ventilation combines an engineered jacquard weave with pinpoint laser perforations. The weave optically and tactically articulates the upper body’s heat map, while the perforations provide aeration at the points where body temperature is the highest and likely to rise with exercise.
The emotional and physical dichotomy of running, meanwhile, is represented throughout the collection by color blocking, gradation and text. In the men’s collection, the season’s hues are paired with urban grays. In the women’s collection, they are combined with neutrals and each other, with the occasional inclusion of a tonal python print.
Footwear further expresses Takahashi’s inspiration with color blocking on either side of the Lunar Speed AXL. The sneaker’s dual-tone, breathable mesh uppers are texturized by tonal python embossed leather, while the midsoles feature the Swoosh’s Lunarlon cushioning.
The Nike x Undercover Gyakusou Spring 2014 collection launches globally on March 1.