Nike ISPA apparel is designed for extremes of everyday life
An inflatable jacket, a mesh bodysuit and split-toe sneakers are among the products Nike has repurposed from ultra sport activities to suit the lifestyles of city dwellers.
The collection was created as part of the brand’s ISPA philosophy, which stands for the principles of improvise, scavenge, protect and adapt. ISPA was established in 2018 to create products for everyday use in cities rather than extreme sports.
“ISPA is making more about the kind of extremes and the fringes of what people are doing more in their everyday lives in the city,” Nike design director for energy apparel Nur Abbas told Dezeen.
“So it’s not necessarily about running faster or jumping higher, but just, how can you improve the way someone feels throughout the day,” Abbas added. “How could we repurpose things that we’re seeing being used by fringe kind of sport kind of subcultures, like ultralight hikers, ultra runners?”
The ISPA design team develops projects by reworking existing designs, and repurposing scrap or waste materials. Abbas said the result is a series that is “a little bit more stripped back and maybe less polished” than other Nike collections.
Among the designs is the Inflate Jacket, a coat with a custom-built part concealed into its lining that blows up the jacket to mitigate temperature changes.
It is a development of the ventilation system in the 2006 Nike Airvantage jacket, which integrated air channels into the garment.
“The Inflate Jacket is where we managed to break new ground by using ISPA as a platform to experiment and create something completely new, like the air bladder that went into that jacket,” Abbas added.
“That wasn’t something that you could just go out to one of our factories or vendors and ask them, can you provide us with this part? We really had to start from scratch to find that solution.”
The ISPA bodysuit is also designed for temperature and ventilation control. To design the one-piece garment Nike tracked heat and sweat accumulation on athletes to place mesh airflow panels. The porous fabric is paired with Dri-FIT, an elastic textile used on several of Nike’s high-performance products for athletic use.
Other garments in the new collection include a Dri-FIT top made with salvaged mesh, pants influenced by motocross apparel and women’s shorts with mesh ventilation and pockets.
The ISPA Drifter footwear meanwhile takes cues from traditional Japanese work boots. The shoe available in two colours, black and white, is wrapped with an intricate fastening system and split at the front to separate the wearer’s toes. Its sole is made with reground foam from ZoomX sneakers.
ISPA Road Warrior combines elements from running, basketball, training and outdoor footwear. Its exposed base is lifted with prototypes of early Nike Shox cushioning and its front also has a spilt toe.
The Overreact FK and Overreact FK Sandal have chunky textured soles and incorporate recycled yarns from previous Nike products in the knit upper part.
While Nike designed the ISPA collection for city dwellers Abbas says the “narratives” the team uses to design products are “always evolving.”
“We always used to get hung up on who we’re designing for and then we were like, No, it’s just the narratives are evolving the product and that’s why they look like they do,” he said.
“We’re an evolving team, we’re always learning, but our narratives are always evolving also and we don’t want to just like start one narrative and that’s it, it’s done, let’s go to the next one as a completely different subject, you need to be relevant with story,” design director for ISPA footwear design Darryl Matthews added.
The brand’s sustainable design lead Noah Murphy-Reinhertz recently spoke with Dezeen about how the coronavirus will impact the ongoing climate crisis. “Right now we’re in the midst of two global crises,” he said.
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