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Your mind will be blown,” Martine Rose tells Vogue before the grand unveiling of her Nike collaboration.
Based on one complete look that fuses both English and American sports heritage, the foundation of the collection is indeed unique. “We took a silhouette based on a very British tracksuit that you might get in JD Sports,” Rose explains. “Then, we created a trainer inspired by Nike’s Monarch style, which is a very middle-America-dad trainer.”
The London-based designer, who has become a jewel of LC:M owing to her innovative show sets and subversive streetwear, developed an obsession with the proportions of athletes as the partnership gathered pace. “We looked at how their bodies develop according to their profession, in particular basketball players,” she shares. “I imagined how I would have to alter the fit of Michael Jordan’s tracksuit if I was to wear it.”
The draped-arm detailing on the tops is a result of Rose’s imagination running riot in Jordan’s trackies, and the trainers have an equally intriguing starting point. “We looked at Nike’s shoe lasts and the moulds of athletes’ feet,” says Rose. “The result was really… interesting.” She pushed the Nike product team to veer away from traditional design solutions, and to take her abstract concepts, such as taking an upper over the sole of the shoe, as far as possible. “Nike was really brave. Nothing like this has ever been done before – the trainers are strange, beautiful objects,” Rose notes.
To add to the curiosity, the collection will partly be available to buy on Craiglist. London Steve, who lives on the same cul-de-sac where Martine Rose showed her last collection; Tesfa, a 19-year-old Nike trainer obsessive; and Surya, a photography student who likes to race her two pet ferrets Serena and Williams, will all act as London-based stockists. Users will therefore have to venture to their chosen location to collect the sportswear.
“Neither Nike nor I ever done anything like this before,” giggles Rose. “It’s like the Wild West – totally uncharted territory. We have no idea how it will go.” There’s a mutual trust behind the madness, however. “Without sounding too cheesy, the collaboration started as a friendship and it’s just grown.” Follow @martine_rose for news of when the limited release will launch, and make your shopping list from the campaign below.