The symbiotic relationship between sportswear and high-end fashion is stronger than ever. And Nike CEO Mark Parker seems to be enjoying every minute of it.
In a recent article with the New York Times, Parker discusses how the brand has been infiltrating the fashion world for the last couple of years, tapping supermodels like Karlie Kloss for its campaigns, teaming up with fashion house designers like Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, and even hosting its own runway show in NYC. But it turns out Nike was looking to enter the exclusive world of luxury fashion well before the athliesure trend caught on.
In the article, Parker revealed that he was once in discussions with late designer Alexander McQueen, who “had 200 pairs of Nikes in his closet.” Unfortunately, the timing wasn’t right; but, as we know now, that wasn’t the end of Nike’s fashion endeavors.
Though many labels have used Nike as a source of inspiration, Parker goes on to explain how his team has also taken cues from labels, using images from Alexander Wang and Paco Rabanne on its mood boards; however, he insists the fashion element is all about convenience for the customer—giving them designs that will hold up in the gym, and designs they can wear comfortably on the street. It’s a concept that has been clearly catching on.
Though other sportswear brands like adidas and Puma are also introducing more fashion-forward elements to their designs, the article points out that none are doing it as effectively as Nike. In fact, the brand has proven it can even beat out luxury labels like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Prada when it comes to popularity and value.
You can read the full article on Nike's expansion into the fashion world at the New York Times' website.