The launch of the latest NIKELab line brought us on a mystery tour to the hometown of the designer Johanna Schneider. It’s been a year since she first presented samples of the collection and an all encompassing collaboration even longer in perfecting. As soon as you see Johanna you can understand why NIKE hit gold in working with this wonder-women who combines both passion for sport with knowledge in performance-wear. After an introduction to the background of the partnership, she then leads us thru an NTC workout that she has specially devised for us to physically experience the designs. A combination of Vinyasa yoga postures, flow into high intensity cardio military style moves. Each transition plotted out for our bodies to test and highlight the shapes in unison. Our team of taste-makers, influencers and journalists brought together from across Europe are all put thru our paces and fitness levels put to the test! It’s this extreme focus on fitness that Johanna has tailored the modular system of training pieces for. From a running, ski and surf background herself she knows the needs of women’s expectations from sportswear. The individual pieces can be put together in various formations to fit to each stage of a session: travelling to the gym, whilst in motion and leaving the work out. Across the spectrum of styles this offers volume to breath and more structured shapes for protection. The Pièce de résistance is the rectangular cape with ties, breakpoints and belt that allow it to act as a coat, wrap and skirt for each different area of your activity. It’s almost martial arts in style but a clean graphic formula which folds up neatly into a square of fabric to slot into your kit. Johanna’s inspiration was to develop garments which play with the body and come to life when opened up like a butterfly from a cocoon. The dri-FIT stretch garments have her hand-painted illustrations in print placement to interact with the silhouette. The complete colour palette is subtle to compliment diversity in skin tones. It's all been devised to integrate with your daily routine with “diversity” as a key theme also in relation to women sharing a workout. Johanna has identified that the current trend in fitness is training becoming a meeting time for girlfriends to socialise. With this in mind it was lovely to travel to Berlin and meet a whole new network of girls from different cities, jobs and life experiences. Thanks to NIKE for this opportunity to have a trip to Berlin to coincide with it’s Fashion Week and be treated to this privileged insight to the range, direct from the designer.
Read all about the collection here, with a breakdown of each item - available from January 26th.
Photos top to bottom: The NIKEXJFS Kit Bag, The designer in Q&A, athletes in the collection demonstrating its functionality, the cape in its rectangular flat format, the installation at KOW Gallery, my kit before the workout including the long sleeve crop top which I LOVED!