Nike’s official skater uniforms are out and ready for the world to see as the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo approach. Charged with the responsibility of designing uniforms for three countries—U.S.A., Brazil, and France—Nike partnered with professional skater and Dutch artist Pieter “Parra” Janssen to come up with a “kit of parts,” rather than a single homogenized “3-piece uniform.”
“We were really cognizant about the fear of the Olympics and that skateboarding would have this homogenized look through a standard uniform,” Kelly Bird at Nike said, Transworld Skateboarding reported. “So we created a giant collection of apparel that included anything that we could picture anyone being into.”
As a traditionally untraditional sport—skaters usually foregoing a set uniform or look—Nike tried to design a uniform that would appeal to all the Olympic Skaters. Because of this, Olympic skaters will have more freedom to wear what they want than other athletes competing in the Olympic games given the individual streetwear nature of the sport.
“We want people to be individuals when they’re skating,” Bird said. “If someone doesn’t want to wear, say, a pair of track pants, then they can wear the khakis. So we created a kit of parts, basically, instead of a single uniform,” Transworld Skateboarding reported.
Bird admitted that when they first started designing the uniforms, they had upwards of 20 unique pieces for Olympic skaters to choose from. With temperatures forecast to get hotter and hotter, athletes competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will probably experience the highest temperatures ever according to Nike. Knowing this, Nike not only designs the Olympic uniforms for the U.S.A., Brazil, and France by drawing inspiration from each nation’s colors, but also with the heat in mind too.
"We're pushing ourselves to the limit, it's a dangerous sport anyways, and then adding hot humid weather makes it a little more extreme,"said Sean Malto, a skater currently competing to qualify for the U.S.A.’s Olympic Skateboarding team in Tokyo, Dezeen reported.
Working with Janssen and consulting Malto, Nike designers considered both the look and the feel of the Olympic Uniforms.
"Nike has been working with us to try to figure out the best possible outfit to feel comfortable in to feel like we look good and if you look good, there's a side psychological way of performing as well," Malto said.
Making the pieces from 100 percent recycled materials such as “water bottles and other things that would go to waste,” according to Nike, they also cut the uniforms in classic skater fits to stay true to the culture of the sport.
Though skaters around the world tend to dress similarly for the sport, Nike chose to design pieces for American, Brazilian, and French athletes inspired by the most popular skate fits.
U.S.A. 's team uniforms include chinos and collared button-downs for women and cargo pants and breathable tees for men, decorating the pieces with splashes of red, white, blue, and pink. Brazil’s team uniforms went a different direction, coloring the fits in vibrant greens, blues, yellows said to be inspired by the country’s landscape. Brazil’s women skaters will be wearing colorful tanks and leggings while the men will wear gym shorts and tees, not unlike the jerseys that Brazilian soccer players sport. France’s uniforms shake it up a bit, dressing the women in red jumpsuits and then men in white printed short-sleeve button downs and blue pants.
Though it’s different for skaters to have a set uniform or look, Nike took care to work with and consult skaters when designing the first Olympic skate uniforms.
“It is different for us to have a set uniform or a set look, because that never really existed before,” Malto said. “For Nike to be able to work with a designer, who still is a skateboarder and respected designer in our industry, and create something that's authentic to us, I thought that was really cool. To be able to still get the look that we want and the performance that we want, it's all coming together to be really special.”
Top Photo via Nike SB
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