Nike x Sacai | Nike to Launch Collaboration with Chitose Abe’s Sacai

Author: Nicole Fung
02.18 / Style

Nike has stepped up its game as of late, collaborating with some of the industry's most innovative designers including Brazilian designer Pedro Lourenço and Berlin-based designer Johanna F. Schneider. The latest to join forces with Nike, launching a womenswear collection is Japanese label, Sacai. Chitose Abe, the mastermind behind the brand, gained her experience working under the design teams of Rei Kawakubo and Junya Watanbe (also of COMME des GARÇON), going on to create her very own label in 1999. Her designs are known to be urban and sporty with draping fabrics, edgy yet easy to wear.

NikeLab's collaboration with Sacai is expected to embody Sacai's playful designs and material innovation creating powerful sportswear pieces for women. Abe explored Nike's archives for inspiration creating an eight-piece collection infusing bright colors and her aesthetic. “I’ve always been inspired by original silhouettes and ideas that often come from utility, performance and sportswear,” Abe explains in an interview with BoF. She continues, “Nike is a classic and an original that has a purity about it and a familiarity to the silhouettes that they’ve created over the years, so it’s a perfect fit with my aesthetic and inspiration.” Vice President and Creative Director of Nike Sportswear responds, “Our excitement to work with Chitose was really born from her unique understanding of form and silhouette.” He adds, “Many of her collections have inspired the design team at Nike, through her elegant and graceful application of materials.”

The NikeLab x Sacai collection utilizes Nike's Tech Fleece in two different weights along with mesh lace trims. “Fabric development has always been very important to me,” Abe explains. “Each season I work with the design team and factories to create new fabric ideas. Nike is also so focused on technology, pushing the boundaries of fabric innovation and performance; that was of great interest to me and I learnt a lot from the process of working together,” she says.

So far, NikeLab and Sacai have revealed that this exciting collection features Nike's Air Max and Dunk sneakers, reinterpreted as slip-ons with elasticised tongues. As for apparel, Abe takes Nike's 30-year-old nylon Windrunner jacket, transforming it into a skirt with plissé-style panelling. She also gives a hooded sweatshirt an entirely new perspective by adding a peplum with side openings. We'll have sit tight for the rest of the collection. Stay tuned for updates!