Vogue: Exclusive: Maria Sharapova Introduces NikeLab x Sacai’s New Collection
Chitose Abe is redefining activewear with her NikeLab x Sacai collection, offering up ballooning Windbreakers, pleated skirts, and sleek leggings that have found fans in athletes and fashion folk alike. For her new Fall and Holiday collection, Abe took her marriage of fashion and sport one step further, expanding her range of products to include swingback bomber jackets, tailored wool skirts, and several neon iterations of the Nike Dunk sneaker—all items that can live happily outside the gym. “My goal was to create something that is recognizably both Sacai and Nike,” explained Abe in a release, noting that her process in melding sport with style was similar to creating her Sacai ready-to-wear collections. “Sacai’s vision is to take classic styles that are familiar to anyone, such as the cardigan, button-down shirt, or jacket, and play with the fabrics and silhouettes, combining them in new ways to create a new interpretation of classic styles. I applied this same design philosophy to the NikeLab x Sacai collection, which expresses the style of Nike through Sacai’s eye.”
If Abe’s smart mash-ups of performancewear and style aren’t enough to catch your eye, the star of the collaboration’s new imagery surely will: five-time tennis Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova. “What I like about the NikeLab x Sacai collection are the proportions—all the mixtures of materials and textures and the pleating,” Sharapova tells Vogue.com. “There is a lot of volume in the pieces, so you can layer them really well from season to season. It can be a transitional dress that you wear with sneakers. Or in the winter, you can put pieces together with leggings. It’s a versatile collection that provides you with a lot of options.” The tennis star admits that while her younger self was preoccupied with trends, she’s currently in the mood for fashion pieces that stand the test of time, naming the Windrunner pleated-back jacket from Sacai’s collaboration as a current favorite. “For me it’s all about the details in clothes, and that all comes down to the way that a piece is stitched. Materials are very important.”
Find your favorites in the collection’s new lookbook, debuting exclusively here, before it drops in stores and online this Thursday, November 5.