After collaborating on revamped versions of the Air Force 1 and a Dunk Lux High, Nike and designer Riccardo Tisci are coming together once again—and this time, the partnership includes a full range of performance apparel, alongside a Nike Free Train Force Flyknit in two colorways.
The NikeLab x RT: Training Redefined collection will be released in a two-part drop: In addition to the sneakers, the first assortment, out in July, will be comprised of men's and women's jackets, tops, tights, and shorts, all done in black and white. The second, scheduled for an August release, will combine floral and kaleidoscope prints designed by Tisci. The floral print incorporates subtle skulls and stars, as seen in Tisci's work with Givenchy, where he has served as creative director since 2005. If you look closely, you can also pick out flowers from three distinct regions: Tisci's native Taranto, Italy; Oregon, where Nike is based; and Rio de Janiero, Brazil, a regular destination for Tisci and home of the upcoming Summer Olympics. The Olympic connection is emphasized even more in campaign photos shot by Inez and Vinoodh, featuring world-class athletes Ashton Eaton and Sanya Richards-Ross.
The collection marks Tisci's first foray into true performance apparel. "I was a virgin in this scene," he told Complex yesterday. "I work in fashion and do couture. You do think about movement, but not as deeply as Nike does. In the beginning, I was a little bit scared [that I wouldn't] achieve what they wanted me to achieve." To reach the goal of creating apparel and footwear that can actually be worn to train, Tisci tailored his design approach to begin with what he sees as Nike's strengths. "Nike is number one in the game in the sense of technology," he says. "I had an idea, and then we started from fabrics and from finishing." Proprietary materials used in the collection include Flyknit and Nike Dri-FIT in shorts, tights and a tank.
To be sure, Nike had just as much to learn from Tisci this time around. As NikeLab senior design director Jarrett Reynolds commented in this morning's official announcement from Nike, "Riccardo’s vision pushed our design to a place we wouldn’t have arrived at on our own."
If Nike and Tisci's previous collaborations are any indication, the Training Redefined collection is likely to become one of summer's most coveted, most Instagrammable releases—and not just for fitness addicts. "You start from the need of doing sport, but you can wear it normally," Tisci told us about the range. "I want people to perform with the same clothes and then take off the jacket and the leggings and just go out."
Look for more from the NikeLab x RT: Training Redefined assortment to make its way to the general public soon.