The New Nike Collaboration You'll Be Seeing Everywhere

Photo: Courtesy of Nike.
In case you needed more evidence of fashion's enduring love affair with athleticwear: Givenchy's creative director, Riccardo Tisci, is taking his relationship with Nike one step further. Come summer, you'll be able to wear Tisci's take on high-performance sportswear on your body, not just your feet, with the launch of his first clothing collection with the brand, entitled NikeLab x RT: Training Redefined.

Debuting in July, the collection includes tights, cropped shirts, and even caps, with specific items done in a classic black-and-white palette; others, in a dark floral "Kaleidoscope" print, are out in August.

The wild card item is probably a sleek black skirt that's made for exercising (as well as pre- and post-gym wear). "Originally, the skirt is something [Nike] wasn't interested in doing, because we wanted to make sure it had a trainable, performance component, and Ricccardo challenged us to figure out a way to make it." Jarrett Reynolds, senior design director at NikeLab Apparel, told Refinery29.

But the best sellers, according to Reynolds, are likely to be the stuff that's most reminiscent of Givenchy's celeb-vetted streetwear-centric offerings: logo T-shirts, available in a men's and women's styles, featuring "RT" and a star.

"The first time Nike worked with Riccardo, there was a sort of promo logo tee; it went on sale, but in super, super-limited numbers, and it sold out," Reynolds says. "Riccardo and I both wanted to put out this T-shirt again for kids who couldn't get it the first time; it's probably the most accessible piece in the collection." (Though the prices haven't yet been released, these Nike tees should presumably do less wallet damage than a $500 Givenchy version.)

There's also a compression-legging-basketball-short mashup, done in a dark floral, which features only one waistband to cut down on the bulk or chafing. "It's totally a thing!" Reynolds assured us of the shorts-legging (shleggings?) hybrid. "It's also about modesty; many guys don't feel comfortable wearing tights on their own. A lot of guys will layer two separate pieces, and we wanted to morph them into one."

You'll undoubtedly see the collection pop up in street style regulars' Instagram feeds (and loyal Tisci fan Kim Kardashian is bound to take a selfie in the below sports bra any day now). But the collection is legitimately meant for sweat sessions: The range employs Nike's Dri-FIT and Flyknit technologies. "I hope it gets used for its actual intent!" Reynolds says. "The same way Gyakusou [NikeLab's collab with Undercover] has made cool kids start running, I hope this [Tisci] collection gets kids into the gym."
Photographed by Alexandra Ilyashov.
Last month, Nike and Tisci released the NikeLab Dunk Lux High x RT, a sleek leather high-top, as a continuation on their creative partnership, which began in in 2014 with a reimagined Air Force 1. At the time, the designer teased yet another collection with the sportswear brand that would be "bigger" and "more articulated" due out in the summer, according to WWD. Well, now we know what he was alluding to.

Tisci and Reynolds worked on the collection "all over the world: Portland, Paris, Milan, on multiple occasions," Reynolds says. "He's just the busiest guy in the entire world, but when we met with him, he was super present. He wasn't on his cell phone, he was hard-working, giving feedback, and collaborative," Reynolds explains.

So, if you're not quite on the level of working out in Givenchy, now's your chance to wear Tisci's designs on the treadmill.
Photographed by Alexandra Ilyashov.

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