Nike

Just Jouez! Jacquemus Links With Nike on Sensual Sportswear

Just Jouez! Jacquemus Links With Nike on Sensual Sportswear

Photo: Marco Maestri
Simon Porte Jacquemus’s shows in Hawaii, Provence, and Paris have included sport-centric pieces like scuba gear, hiking boots, and swimwear, but when his models walk the Paris runways in late June, they will be playing a whole new game, so to speak: Nearly three years in the making, Jacquemus’s debut collaboration with Nike marries the designer’s love of the outdoors and his body-​conscious aesthetic with Nike’s expertise in making some of the most technically advanced activewear in the world.
“Sport was always super important in the Jacquemus DNA,” says Jacquemus from his Paris office, noting that his 2014 and 2015 collections were grounded by sneakers. “But as Jacquemus grew, the Jacquemus girl changed – she got heels!” he continues, with a laugh. Still, something lingered in his mind. “I always said to myself, If one day I do a collaboration, it will be with Nike.”
Photo: Pablo di Prima
The American sportswear behemoth first connected with the designer in 2018 for a French campaign that featured an image of Jacquemus jumping for a header amid a throng that included the French national soccer team star Kylian Mbappé, and by the start of 2020, the ink was dry on a co-branded collaboration. Jacquemus took his first meeting at Nike’s Beaverton headquarters in Oregon in February of that year.
“Mind-blowing,” he says of days there that consisted of “buying vintage in a cool shop in the mornings, then going hiking, then having a meeting after passing by the swimming pool of the Nike campus” – a lifestyle that blended work with working out, mirroring Jacquemus’s own routine in Paris. (“I haven’t been to the pool today, and I haven’t been on a hike,” he admits when we speak on Zoom, “but I do a lot of sport every morning before coming to the studio.”)
Even two years of remote work – along with getting a puppy, Toutou, and becoming engaged to his longtime partner, French communications executive Marco Maestri (the two are planning an August wedding) – couldn’t slow Jacquemus’s roll, as ideas began to spring forth immediately. Jacquemus, an avid collector of Nike’s ACG (All Conditions Gear) line, wanted to bring that functionality to his own womenswear obsessions, like “late ’90s lace miniskirts, Lady Di’s sport looks, and the DNA of tennis.”
“I wanted to do something super light,” he says. Et voilà: The neutral-​toned womenswear pieces of this new collection marry Jacquemus’s effortlessness and ease with Nike’s technical prowess. Take a pair of pearl-white bike shorts – seemingly as prêt-à-porter as possible, until you realize that they are made without seams, from Nike’s specially engineered knit. That backless dress? It promises to work just as hard at the gym as it would at the club. “Super light, but super sensual,” says Jacquemus of the crux of his collection. “That was my first idea.”
For Nike, bringing that kind of French allure to sport was essential. “We always seek to work with collaborators that offer up something we don’t have as a brand,” says Jarrett Reynolds, Nike’s vice president of Catalyst Apparel Design, which fosters the brand’s more innovative partnerships. “Simon’s superpower is the sensuality of his design and his emotion… he can take the mundane and make it really special.”
Photo: Pablo di Prima
Among the special things in the 15-​piece collection are Humara sneakers with a tiny swoosh; a pleated skirt that calls to mind the on-court uniforms of Jacquemus’s favorite players, Emma Raducanu and Naomi Osaka; and a bucket hat for hikers and bikers of all genders. “I wanted to use this collection to speak to a larger audience,” Jacquemus says. “It was super important to me also for this to not be an elitist collaboration – to have something that everyone can wear.”
The partnership, which is ongoing, will only help Jacquemus expand his impact. Without divulging too much, he alludes to what’s next: “The collection will grow – maybe something more Nike is coming, and then something more in between.” Menswear seems like a must. But in the immediate future, look for Nike X Jacquemus in the backyards of Beaverton, on the hiking trails of Marseille – Simon’s favorites – and everywhere in between.
Maybe even the courts of the French Open, I ask? Jacquemus brightly smiles at the suggestion. “That would be cute!”
Photo: Pablo di Prima
Creative Direction by Simon Porte Jacquemus. 
Read Next: Virgil Abloh-Designed Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1s Sell for US $25.3 Million at Sotheby’s
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk

Virgil Abloh-Designed Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1s Sell for US $25.3 Million at Sotheby’s

Virgil Abloh-Designed Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1s Sell for US $25.3 Million at Sotheby’s

Photo: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton
After being up for bids for two weeks, the auction of 200 pairs of the Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 Lows has concluded with a record-breaking sale. With more than 1,200 bidders from over 50 countries, it has set the benchmark for the “highest known public records for most valuable sneaker and fashion auctions ever staged.” The announcement was made by the auction house Sotheby’s, which stated that the highest price a pair of sneakers was sold for was US $352,800. The men’s Size 5 shoe was the only one produced in that size and so its sale, combined with that of the other pairs brought the grand total of the auction to an eye-watering amount of $25.3 million.
Photo: Instagram.com/virgilabloh
The coveted sneakers were conceptualized by late designer Virgil Abloh who served as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear before he passed away from a rare form of cancer in November 2021. The auction took off on January 26, a week after the presentation of Abloh’s last collection for the French fashion house in Paris, and greatly exceeded Sotheby’s predictions. It had started the bidding at $2,000 a pair and had estimated that they would sell for between $5,000 and $15,000. Proceeds from the sale will benefit The Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund, which in partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund, supports the education of academically promising students of Black, African American, or African descent.
Photo: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton
Marked with Louis Vuitton’s signature monogram and Damier patterns, the special-edition sneakers are entirely made in precious calf leather with natural cowhide piping. Each pair was sold with an auction-exclusive Louis Vuitton pilot case from the house’s Spring-Summer 2022 collection. Reinterpreted from the house’s archives, the case has been rendered in bright orange with Louis Vuitton’s classic S lock closure in white, with a Nike Swoosh-shaped luggage tag, and can adapt to every shoe size due to an internal cushion system.
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Iranian Designer Melody Ehsani on Imbuing Her Streetwear Aesthetic and Feminist Attitude into Her NYC Life

Iranian Designer Melody Ehsani on Imbuing Her Streetwear Aesthetic and Feminist Attitude into Her NYC Life

Melody Ehsani in a tracksuit from Noah NY and Union LA x Nike Jumpman sneakers. Photo: Supplied

Twelve years have passed since Melody Ehsani launched her namesake streetwear brand and opened the doors to her Fairfax Avenue shop. “It’s kind of like being Luke Skywalker. I never set out to be a Jedi but did what I had to do. I looked up 10 years later, and here I am, a Jedi,” says the Iranian designer about running her business. Now with a location in Soho, New York City, Ehsani’s streetwear aesthetic – influenced by sports, hip-hop, and feminism – are found at her two stores, inviting customers to explore her sweatsuits, graphic tees, accessories, and jewelry lines.
Rings by Melody Ehsani, and a gifted Nefertiti ring. Photo: Supplied

With short-lived plans to become a lawyer in women advocacy, Ehsani – a graduate of the University of California – decided to break from cultural expectations and enroll at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena instead. “I finally broke with that path realizing that it wasn’t a true calling,” she shares. “It helped shape my beliefs and principles, which are reflected in my work: being able to leave behind parts of the culture that don’t serve me and bringing forward the beautiful aspects that are timeless and true.” While her law school days are far behind her, she continues to promote female empowerment via her platform. “I enjoy fusing conscious thought with product and I started my brand being inspired by women and wanting to pay it forward.”
Ehsani in her designs. Photo: Supplied

A lesson in adapting
“It’s the year of pivoting,” Ehsani says about adapting her establishment to the onset of the pandemic. “With 90% of our production being done in Los Angeles, we had to navigate around the availability of our supply chain,” she says. “Someone once told me to aim for accomplishment as opposed to success. Success carries an emotion, it implies you’re validated, whereas accomplishment means you set out to do something, and you do it. It involves a continual ascent. Not you, standing at the peak of a mountain and looking up.” Ehsani feels encouraged to push forward in times when others press pause. When asked what customers are looking for post-pandemic, she shares, “I know personally, I’ve simplified significantly. I’m more interested in supporting local businesses than ever before – and wearing clothes that are well-made and comfortable.”
Ehsani in her designs. Photo: Supplied

Female power
“Style is an expression of who you are,” says Ehsani, dressed in a sweatsuit that she made and a pair of Nike Air Jordan Ones from her ever-growing collection. “I’m not sure how many Jordans I own, but there are a lot,” she laughs. Some of her favorite pairs include the Aleali May and Union Los Angeles collaborations, which sit alongside designs she did for the brand. A nod to self-expression, she leaves her mark on an Air Jordan One, customized with a removable gold watch from her eponymous jewelry brand and inscribed with a Julie Burns- Walker circling the sole: “If you knew what you had was rare, you would never waste it.” Her second and most recent partnership with the sneaker company is the first-ever collaboration on the Women’s Jordan OG, first introduced in 1998. Imagined in black, purple, and red with reflective piping, the design is accented with a cherry detail – which is associated with goddesses of fertility, abundance, and protection – expressing her message on women empowerment.
A vintage Rolex Stella watch. Photo: Supplied

Slow and steady
While some rely on a morning workout, a java boost, or catching up on news before rushing out the door, Ehsani takes a holistic approach to start her day. “I sit up in bed, say a little prayer, and do some breathing and meditation work before brushing my teeth,” she says. “I also drink a lot of matcha and rely on it heavily in my morning routine to set the tone for my day.” Her self-care routine starts skin deep.” My complexion is the most direct reflection of how my overall health is doing,” says the designer. “I feel better when I’m giving myself what I need, and it shows in my skin,” she says, adding, “Just remember to drink water, breath, stretch, and meditate.”
Ehsani’s sneaker collaboration with Nike in front of art by Aya Tiff Brown. Photo: Supplied

For the love of food
“Raffi’s Place is my favorite Persian restaurant in Los Angeles,” Ehsani says as she excitedly talks about the beef kabab barq at the Glendale courtyard locale lined with an umbrella of trees and twinkling lights. Just a stone’s throw away from her shop, Ehsani also frequently reserves a table at Jon and Vinny’s for its apple salad and spicy fusilli. Meanwile, Erewhon is her shopping ground. “It’s my favorite market. Its hot foods bar has all the healthy food I like and its smoothies are worth splurging on.”
Ehsani in her designs. Photo: Supplied

Read Next: Iranian Diva Googoosh on Auctioning Her Iconic Couture Kaftans for a Cause
Originally published in the March 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia

Consider Trips to the Shops a Breeze Thanks to Nike’s New “Hands-Free” Trainers

Consider Trips to the Shops a Breeze Thanks to Nike’s New “Hands-Free” Trainers

Courtesy of Nike

For those trips to the shops and walks around the park, there’s a new trainer in town and it’s here to spice things up a bit. Nike’s new GO FlyEase (£ 104.95, available from 15 February) is a “hands-free” trainer that means you no longer have to worry about tying up your shoelaces – rather, just slip on and go.
Courtesy of Nike

Aimed at anyone who lives an on-the-go lifestyle, the Go FlyEase also makes life a lot easier for everyone from expectant mothers in the late stages of pregnancy to those with disabilities: “For some, these shoes are simply easier to put on,” says Kathy Gomez, Nike vice president’s of NXT footwear. “But for others, they are the reason it’s possible.” David Wagner, a wheelchair tennis athlete, will be wearing the trainers to compete in the Australian Open later this month.
To create a shoe that genuinely doesn’t need to be pulled on or off (all you have to do is slip your foot in, and exit the shoe by using the opposite foot against the heel) Nike created a bi-stable hinge that “keeps the shoe securely open upon entry and exit and closed when in use”, explains Gomez. The beauty of it is that it works with human intuition, making getting your shoe on and off, using just your feet, a breeze.
Courtesy of Nike

Starting as little more than a Nike “internal competition” to find a completely hands-free shoe, the new trainer has been five years in the making, and its birth has uncovered technology that might well be used for high-performance trainers in future: “The initial winning prototype [of the competition] was a modified Nike Roshe [trainer] split down the middle, but it sparked a larger idea that a dedicated team of people has been working to refine ever since. Ultimately, this patent-pending shoe reinvents how you put on and take off your shoes, which is no small feat,” says Gomez.
As you might expect from a Nike trainer, they’re ultra comfortable too. With a “diving board” design, the footbed is cushiony soft and envelopes your foot when you slide into it. “We engineered pattern and materials to maintain a continuous footbed for comfort,” explains Gomez. “Our team were obsessed with comfort and convenience.”
Read Next: Exclusive: Haute Hijab Launches Sustainable Sports Collection
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk

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