It’s official…2015 marks the Year of the Woman. Well according to Nike anyways and for the record, I am totally ok with this. In my opinion it should be the Year of the Woman ever year! Two weeks ago I was one of the few lucky women in media from Canada to go attend a two day international summit put on my Nike to give a behind the scenes look at their latest technologies, innovations and a sneak peek at their new women’s SS/15 collection. Thankfully I got to fly straight from San Francisco to New York after the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, which gave me a couple days to relax but it also gave me too much time to try and anticipate what I was going to be witnessing later that week. Having not received an itinerary (the Nike team can really be secretive and elusive when they have big things up their sleeves), I did however get a delivery to my hotel room at the Trump Soho the evening before the summit commenced which included a beautiful flower and an accompanying note stating, “Be prepared to move and be moved.” I had considered myself warned!
Taking place at Spring Studios, a select group of women (and a sprinkle of men from publications such as Hypebeast and HighSnobiety) gathered into a room with a runway set up, that no doubt had all in attendance squealing on the inside, knowing we were about to experience something amazing. Although we were grouped by geographical region and media type (print and digital/influencer), I did mange to spy Giovanna Battaglia, Aurielle Sayeh, Susie Bubble and Adrianne Ho before the lights when down. Nike President and CEO Mark Parker opened up the summit bringing us up to date on some startling facts about women in fitness. “Sport and fitness are powering a new lifestyle shift for women around the world,” Parker said. “Our relationship with our digital community of 65 million women, coupled with great product innovation, is driving our momentum, and we expect to add another $2 billion in revenue to reach $7 billion by 2017”. With this in mind, the brand has been inspired by women and has used said inspiration to create their most comprehensive and innovative women’s collection to date. Mark Parker left the audience with one final statement before departing the stage, “I’ve been designing for Nike for over 30 years and I have never been more excited.” And just like that he was gone and we were introduced to 27 of the world’s top female athletes including; pro basketball star Skylar Diggins, two time tennis grand slam winner Li Na, Olympic gold medalists Shelly-Ann Frasher-Pryce, Allyson Felix, Sonya Richards-Ross, Adelina Sotnikova and more, who strutted down the runway in the latest Nike apparel. And if that wasn’t enough, Supermodels Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls made cameo runway appearances to show off the company’s design collabo with Pedro Lourenco…you can check out my Instagram video here.
Michelle Beadle of ESPN interviewing Kerri Hoyt-Pack and Stefan Olander of Nike
With companies such as Lululemon, Sweaty Betty, Under Armour and others on the rise in fashionable and functional fitness clothing, Nike’s goal is to dominate the female athletic apparel category by expertly combining production innovation, social media strategies and athletic sponsorship. This tactic is clearly working. Some of the brand’s sponsored athletes took to the stage in a panel discussion hosted by sprinter Allyson Felix, who chatted with Skylar, marathoner Joan Benoit Samuelson, tennis player Li Na, Paralympic triathlete Sarah Reinersteen and pro surfer Carissa Moore, who discussed how the brand has contributed to their success and the growth of women in their individual sports.
Nike is ahead of their competition by always looking for ways to incorporate sustainability with the development of their products. The Roshe Flyknit design team saw unused materials as an opportunity, not only to make an exciting new design but one with a purpose, as strong as the it’s woven make-up. Each these pairs are truly one of a kind and were made available for sale on October 4th, 2014.
Nike’s SS’15 collection features beautiful performance looks and fabulous designer capsule collections with product offerings in Nike training, sportswear and running categories. The highlights being in high performance tights and flyknit footwear technology. The reason the company is so successful in this area is because not only does the design team listen to feedback from athletes at every level, they also travel the globe to get better acquainted with those within the Nike Women community to understand their specific training needs:
“We rely on relentless commitment to design and innovation to create solutions for athletes,” says July Igarashi, VP of Global Design for Nike Women’s Training. “…sport and fitness is a lifestyle shift that is here to stay. And because it is now so ingrained in what women do and who they are, fitness footwear and apparel have become seamless extensions of her everyday wardrobe. To serve her modern lifestyle of movement, we focus on a unique blend of performance and style. We won’t compromise one element for another, which means we equip the athlete for whatever workout she chooses and wherever she chooses to go before or after.”
What can you expect to see from the forthcoming collections? Visually appealing apparel in terms of bright new colour ways, flattering cuts and design technology like in the legendary Lava Tight and in addition to advancements in both Dryfit and Flyknit Zoom technology featured below. Not to be outdone by Pedro Lourenco’s sexy collection and high end technical garments from Johanna Schneider, formerly from “Acronymn” and Stone Island.
And really, what would a Nike event be without a workout? On day one of the media extravaganza, we were all invited to have one-on-ones with Nike Master Trainers from across North America to discuss our current fitness regime and preferred type of workouts. By providing that information, the Master Trainers put together a bespoke training program together for each person on an iPad, which was immediately sent to us via email and upon returning back to our hotel rooms that evening, we came home to several looks from the new collection that we could wear to participate in two insane workouts. The first evening 300 women (both media and consumers) arrived at Cipriani’s NYC for the most epic NTC+ Live session ever. It was amazing to see one of the city’s most prestigious restaurant’s transformed into an enormous workout studio. A 16 foot cube stage, which is rumoured to be the same one JayZ and Kanye used on the Watch the Throne tour, 15 Master Trainers and one intense workout, where we were led by my good friend Eva Redpath and fellow MT Traci Copeland.
On day two, after another busy day of previewing collections, this time a look at the Holiday collection, we rounded out the summit with an exclusive workout with Model Fit Founder Justin Gelband. This was my first time hearing of this new cult fave workout in NYC. I had my reservations at first, as the first few exercises during the class did not seem very difficult, but this 40 minute class that was a mixture of precise and minimal Yoga, pilates, motion, balance stability, and functional training movements, totally kicked my butt. Justin is actually the man behind Karlie Kloss’ tight little bod and has been busy training the Victoria Secret Angels before the big runway show, which will be filmed in just a couple weeks from now. Check out some of my fave moments captured on my iphone during the 2014 Nike Women Summit…
The last several months have been nothing short of gruelling and all my hard work really paid off. Attending the Nike Women Summit got me really excited to immediately set new goals for myself now that I’ve completed my first half marathon. Looking good while working out is half the battle and by the looks of what’s to come in 2015, I will be crushing my newly set goals in style!