Jun Takahashi with his running team, Tokyo’s Gyakusou International Running Association
Nike Sportswear obviously does quite well with it’s own design team, turning out well-styled athletic apparel, that sets industry standards. But by leveraging the acumen of Jun Takahashi, NSW has been able to make huge leaps forward in combining technicality, utility, and design. The Jun Takahashi-designed Gyakusou collection for Nike Sportswear landed with a huge impact in Fall 2010, and followed up with an equally impressive Spring 2011 collection.
Takahashi is best known for Undercover, the seminal Japanese label he founded in the early 1990’s. He was a key figure in that golden era of the uru-hara hipster set, and Undercover retains the cult status that the label quickly earned. In years since, Undercover has gone on to flirt with the couture world, which has embraced Takahashi’s elaborate, unique, and frequently edgy creations.
NSW has allowed Takahashi to fuse his own love of running with his skill for subtle design and aesthetic details. The Gyakusou collection, named for Tokyo’s Gyakusou International Running Association, evokes a reverse engineering theme, explored through a variety of inside-out construction approaches - the result is a slightly whimsical sense of technicality.
While unapologetically technical, the line maintains a tasteful aesthetic by relying on a restrained color palette - though throughout the collection, Takahashi capitalizes on Nike’s latest technologies - making wide use of laser-sealed seams and Dri-FIT fabrics in apparel, and Lunarlon soles and Flywire technology in footwear. Gyakusou represents some of the finest examples anywhere of design, fashion, and technology combined; comparisons to other heavyweights of the niche - Errolson Hugh’s work for ACRNM, for example - are not unwarranted. Takahashi has taken purpose-built technical athletic pieces and imbued them with next-generation style – with no sense of feature-overload, and without creating Blade Runner costumes.Via http://www.tresbienshop.net/brand/nike-undercover/about/