Fall 2019 Ad Campaign with Naomi Osaka By Emma Summerton
Chitose Abe describes intuition as a guiding force. Things have to make sense for the Sacai founder, even when creating something never-before-seen. Her latest project with Nike follows accordingly. The 11-piece collection combines the past and present of Nike’s running apparel innovations through a tour de force of strikingly-contrasted logos, patterns, colors and hemlines.
The output channels Abe’s signature design language, which brings a new irreverence to running style and extends a partnership with Nike that began in 2014. “Sacai was just at the beginning of its foray into the international realm,” says Fraser Cooke, Special Projects Senior Director. “We saw immediately that Abe is very good at mixing up sportswear with high fashion. One of the things that we thought was really interesting about working with Sacai was her way of layering and draping.”
Belief in Abe’s work with sportswear and military icons has rung true.
Often, I take the things I like from two different items of clothing and splice them together to create a whole that is bigger than the sum of its parts. I express the end result as a ‘hybrid.’
– Chitose Abe, Creative Director Sacai
Her capacity to deconstruct and reconstruct ideas — a hallmark of sacai — gives an unmistakable character to the current collaborative effort. The process also allows for a twofold hybridization. The first is a melding of ideas, the second in true balance of activity.
“There has to be a genuine interest or connection in order for me to create something new and unexpected,” says Abe. “Another important thing is that the partnership needs to contribute exactly half the work. We literally got two photocopied pictures of two different shoes that they folded in half and put on top of each other,” says Cooke of the beginning stages of the Nike x Sacai LDWaffle.”
To showcase the collection which drops in September the house paired Naomi Osaka, the current world tennis No. 1 player, with 11-year-old skate sensation Sky Brown for the new campaign. Bridging dance, an urban performance space, distinct talents, and the collection are fitting for the designer who is all about mixing things up. The result is one of Nikes most artisanal messages and one that balances the world of fashion with the world of running apparel.
Sacai Creative Director | Chitose Abe Photographer/Director | Emma Summerton Talent | Naomi Osaka & Sky Brown