NIKE's new 'nature amplified' apparel NIKE's new 'nature amplified' apparel
jul 19, 2013

NIKE's new 'nature amplified' apparel

top image: NIKE aeroloft 800 vest
all images courtesy NIKE


as part of the NIKE‘s 2013 innovation summit the brand presented key pieces from its new range of apparel products, such as the NIKE aeroloft 800 vest, an ultra-light insulating layer composed of perforated down.


designed under the ‘nature amplified’ ethos – where products assist the body’s natural ability. fueled by scientific data and athlete insights each garment aims to keep runners comfortable, protected and focused on performing at their best.


lee holman, vice president of NIKE apparel design told designboom more about the new products:


DB: please could you explain the objectives you had when you began working on the new apparel lines?
LH: the challenge was really about amplifying the body’s natural ability and elevating the athlete’s senses. we achieved this by studying athletes in motion and listening to their feedback, and backed it up with rigorous lab and field testing. with the aeroloft 800 vest it was about keeping runners warm, but not too warm, in cooler conditions. movement activates ventilation in the vest, allowing heat to escape the body through laser-cut holes situated between the down chambers. the down used in the vest is body-mapped to maximize mobility and warmth where needed most.



NIKE aeroloft 800 vest



DB: can you tell us more about the research and testing involved?
LH: we tested the designs extensively on a specially designed life-size sweating mannequin (known on the NIKE campus as HAL) in the the NIKE Sport Research Lab (NSRL) and with elite runners in rugged conditions in new zealand and japan. our scientists analyzed the effectiveness of everything from perforation placement to the size of down baffles to the type and amount of insulation used.



testing at the NIKE Sport Research Lab (NSRL) – in an environmental chamber which can mimic almost any climate condition data is collected to see how each piece of equipment affects their performance.



life-size sweating mannequin (known on the NIKE campus as HAL) in the the NIKE Sport Research Lab (NSRL)



DB: what materials or technologies are used for the vest?
LH: wicking dri-fit on the side and shoulder panels for breathability. then rip-stop nylon for the exterior, which provides durability and protection from wind. the vest folds up to fit in a pocket which is situated at on the lower back of the jacket so if the runner wants to remove the vest mid run it’s easy to fold up and carry in one hand.



NIKE aeroloft 800 vest
image © designboom



NIKE aeroloft 800 vest
image © designboom



NIKE aeroloft 800 vest – front detail
image © designboom



NIKE aeroloft 800 vest – laser cut perforations



NIKE aeroloft 800 vest – back / shoulder
image © designboom



NIKE aeroloft 800 vest – laser cut perforations



NIKE aeroloft 800 vest – pocket
image © designboom



NIKE aeroloft 800 vest – pocket



DB: along with the scientific information gathered from testing, what other factors influenced the design?
LH: we’re passionate about creating designs that have a positive psychological effect on the wearer – the idea of ‘look good, feel good, perform well’ – that these garments can help you run that extra mile because your not only comfortable in them but also because you feel the part. then of course climate conditions are a big influence on any clothing collection – so dri-fit touch is at the center of the designs intended for hotter conditions – while dri-fit knit is used more in the pieces we’ve designed for colder conditions. in turn the materials inform the colorways and textures because of how they can be treated or dyed. for example in some pieces we’ve also used dri-fit wool, which can’t really be dyed in super hi-visible colors but we’ve thought about when these garments would be typically used – and chosen to use colors suited to autumn like plums and greens and so on.



ashton eaton wears NIKE dri fit knit



ashton eaton wears NIKE dri fit knit



NIKE dri fit knit



DB: a lot of time goes into the performance aspect – how does that compare to retail and trend considerations?
LH: well not so many people want a revolutionary product if it doesn’t look good – so we have the consumer in mind all the time. during the testing and performance stages we have to make sure that the products meet the needs of elite athletes but they also have to appeal to people who run in their spare time or people who just want to wear them for how they look.



allyson felix wears NIKE dri fit knit



detail of the dri fit knit



detail of the dri fit knit



DB: what do you look to besides science and sport to influence your designs?
LH: many things, if i’m in a city I’ll always be looking at how people are wearing sportswear in the street – what designs are popular and how they combine them with other types of clothing. our team of designers are always going to art exhibitions, looking at what’s happening in architecture and just last week we were at graduate shows in london – the inspiration can come from these type of things or nature, anywhere really – the challenge is translating it into what we are doing. one of the great benefits of working for NIKE is that we as designers are allowed to dream and imagine the future.



lee holman, vice president of NIKE apparel design
portrait © designboom



NIKE dri-fit knit is an ultra-soft, lightweight fabric incorporating visibly different knit patterns to provide stretch and optimal cooling benefits. an open texture on the sides of garments promotes breathability in key sweat zones, and seamless construction ensures a smooth fit free of distraction.


NIKE dri-fit touch is a featherweight fabric with a soft, natural feel, providing cool comfort for hot conditions. garments are cut to promote cooling and full range of motion.


NIKE dri-fit wool is composed of lamb’s wool and polyester to provide warmth, breathability and mobility. unlike pure wool, the blend moves sweat away from the body and dries quickly. flat-seam construction reduces potential irritation from chafing and ensures garments fit smoothly over the body.


NIKE 2013 innovation summit
sean mcdowell, creative director of NIKE running on the new free flyknit shoe »
NIKE free hyperfeel functions as extension of the foot »

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