Sometimes thinking outside the box requires looking closer to home—the bedroom, specifically.
Skyn Condoms, a New Jersey-based brand of non-latex condoms that launched in 2008, has taken its SkynFeel material—designed to allow people to “feel everything”—and created sports performance apparel.
Skyn owner Ansell enlisted wearable technology specialist Pauline Van Dongen to design a one-of-a-kind conceptual suit for long jumpers using SkynFeel. Drawing inspiration from biomimicry, the garment seeks to reduce body limitation and give extra airtime to the long jump athlete.
“The Skyn brand has innovation woven into its DNA,” said Jeyan Heper, president and general manager of the sexual wellness global business unit at Ansell. “In the world of competitive sports, athletes look for every advantage, and we knew our SkynFeel condom material was revolutionary in our own industry, therefore we turned to the world of performance athletics and decided to conduct an experiment in apparel. We wanted to allow ourselves to think differently, outside of our own condom box.”
The resulting garment features dragonfly wing-inspired flaps on the edge of the body, constructed from a thin layer of SkynFeel and reinforced by a geometric laser-cut grid. Designed with the long jumper’s technique in mind, the flaps stay flat during the run and open up with the jump. This aerodynamic design creates an upward lift that could help long jumpers stay in the air just a little bit longer.
“Experiments like this can point the way to the future,” Van Dongen said. “For me, SkynFeel Apparel is about challenging the status quo, trying something totally new, daring to innovate, imagine and inspire.”