The Nike Air Liberty

Nike and Liberty take a trip back to the 1970s with their new collection for summer 2015.

The Luxonomist. 05/05/2015
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Nike Air Rift. Click for more information

The collection features the rarely seen Merlin print, originally designed by Liberty for a silk scarf back in 1972. The collection commemorates the return of the Nike Air Rift. Originally introduced in 1996, the Nike Air Rift’s signature aesthetic is a result of Nike’s never-ending pursuit to improve athletic performance. Designers working on the project blended technical fabrics, customizable fit systems, and an early form of natural motion design to create a performance shoe worthy of the runners that inspired its creation. For summer ’15 the Air Rift’s unusual aesthetics are complemented by Liberty’s Merlin print for a uniqe expression of sport driven style.

Alongside the Air Rift, the collection’s footwear offering features the Nike Air Max 90 Ultra, on which the Merlin print covers the upper; the Nike Tennis Classic Ultra, which boasts a full Merlin upper and plain white tongue to set off the design; the classic Nike Cortez featuring a full Merlin upper; the Nike Zenji with an understated Merlin pattern behind the Nike Swoosh; and the Nike Air Max Thea, which includes a Merlin upper and a distinctive white Nike Swoosh heel.

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Nike Air Rift. Click for more information

The Merlin print’s geometric shawl design, which includes a playful layout of circles and concentric squares, is applied to a range of contemporary and heritage Nike footwear and apparel silhouettes. Chosen for its bright coloring, striking pattern and unusual design, the Merlin print gives the Nike x Liberty Summer 2015 collection a disruptive, standout aesthetic. The collection intersects past and present to create something completely original.

The Nike x Liberty summer ‘15 apparel collection includes a Nike QS Liberty Windrunner Jacket in all-over Merlin print; a Nike Liberty Tee with a full scarf print hem and print detail sleeves; and a Nike Women’s Liberty Cap featuring a Merlin print peak.

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Nike Tennis Classic Ultra and Nike Zenji. Click for more information

Nike sees women as a hugely important part of its customer base. The company believes its women’s line could add $2 billion of additional sales by 2017. And to make sure that happens, Nike has just invested in its biggest ever advertising push targeting women.  Nike says in a press release, that it already has a digital community of 70 million women who look to the brand when it comes to sports and fitness. That community is growing and becoming more active.

There are more female runners in North America on its Nike+ app (54% female, 46% male,) and globally the amount of female runners joining the app is growing at a faster pace than men, especially across Europe and China, according to Business Insider.

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Nike x Liberty Summer 2015 collection. Click for more information

Under Armour, which recently surpassed Adidas to become the second biggest sportswear brand in the US, launched its largest-ever global women’s marketing campaign earlier this year and signed deals with supermodel Gisele Bundchen and ballerina Misty Copeland. Meanwhile, Lululemon is offering a wider selection of styles, colors, and prints, and has improved its customer service, according to Reuters.

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