Where Sacai Meets Sportswear

Published March 20, 2015

ABOVE: NIKELAB X SACAI AT DOVER STREET MARKET NEW YORK. PHOTO COURTESY OF NIKE.

Japanese designer Chitose Abe begins each new Sacai collection with the basics: classic silhouettes and contemporary conventions, such as the button-down or cardigan. After this initial inspiration, however, the word basic ceases to apply to Sacai; Abe pulls apart fashion’s favorite familiars and reconstructs them with unlikely fabric combinations, from laser-cut florals ontop of navy-inspired stripes to a leather duffle coat dissolving into fringe.

Abe’s new collaboration with Nike was no different: a short-sleeved sweat top fans out at the back with pleated paneling, a tennis skirt incorporates sheer pleats, leggings become fishnet-hybrids. “I wanted to use iconic silhouettes, for example the Windrunner, and do something playful with the style and incorporate Sacai design,” Abe explains. “I thought that the Windrunner was the most classic piece from my visit to the Nike archive; it comes from the most utilitarian background so it is unexpected to see it with a burst of feminine plisse paneling in the back.”

Movement and fabric were at the center of Abe’s Nike collection. “I love Sport Skirt,” Abe continues. “This is based on a skirt pulled from the Nike archive as well, and I rearranged it. I really feel like this is an essential Nike item transformed into something from Sacai’s world in the purest way, and it’s the piece that responds most to movement.”

Yesterday morning, Dover Street Market in New York debuted a new NikeLab installation celebrating the capsule collection. It’s a fitting environment, not only because Dover Street Market is known for its ever-changing, fashion-as-art pop-up instillations, but because before starting Sacai, Abe worked closely with DSM’s founder, Comme des Garçons and Junya Watanabe designer Rei Kawakubo.

FOR MORE ON NIKELAB X SACAI, VISIT THE NIKE WEBSITE.