Balmain creative director—and Kim Kardashian West BFF—Olivier Rousteing is sportier than his love of form-fitting silhouettes lets on.
A soccer fan since childhood, the French fashion designer has teamed up with NikeLab as part of its “Summer of Sport” series, lending his luxe touch to a selection of the sportswear giant’s innovative apparel and footwear.
“Fashion is usually about the catwalk and the glamour, but with Nike it was about performance and the athletes,” Rousteing explained in a statement Monday. “What I love about this collection is that we are integrating the iconic style of football into sport style.”
Inspired by the lifestyles of professional players competing in this summer’s Euro 2016 soccer tournament, classic designs are reimagined through modern silhouettes and paired with gold and other luxury finishes that meet off-pitch performance needs for men and women.
“Olivier was obsessed with the complete look, making sure each piece worked together—not just within the men’s and women’s collections, but also between the two,” Jarrett Reynolds, NikeLab’s senior apparel design director, continued. “At every design review, he’d ask, ‘Would a football player really wear that?’ That question helped keep the collection rooted in sport.”
The result includes an update to the brand’s classic N98 jacket, transformed with gold framing and an embroidered woven crest placed over the heart (where a team’s crest would usually be). The women’s version can be worn as outerwear or a dress. Elsewhere in the collection, tighter sleeves are seen on a traditional soccer top, while comfort is provided by a blend of mesh and luxe structured knit fabrication. Meanwhile, the collection’s footwear features sport-style models inspired by Nike’s four on-the-pitch silhouettes: Mercurial, Magista, Hypervenom and Tiempo.
“Olivier is meticulous about the details, with a passion for finding clever ways to embellish existing structures,” NikeLab’s senior footwear innovation design director, Nate Jobe, said. “This obsession with finishing manifests itself especially well in the Magista and the Mercurial. In each model, we’ve embroidered patterns into the Flyknit for the first time, which creates a completely new expression of the technology.”
NikeLab x Olivier Rousteing: Football Nouveau is the second collaboration in the series (the first is with Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci, another member of the Kardashian cohort) and items will be available beginning June 2 at select NikeLab stores and online.