Five years ago, the confluence of high and low fashion hadn’t really hit yet. Besides, Jones’ personal style is closer to the street than the runway. Kim Jones was perhaps an unlikely choice as Louis Vuitton’s men’s style director when he took the job in 2011.
“I think that is the way everything is moving forward; I was just one of the first people to do it,” says Jones. “Because [streetwear and sportswear] are real. They’re in everyone’s life and filtered into everything.”
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This is a guy who hides hundreds of pairs of sneakers in cupboards and whose first footwear love was a pair of silver Nike Vandals (a very sporty, very casual sneaker). His impact at Louis Vuitton has been highly celebrated—but it was Nike that wanted to explore other areas of his design capabilities. Now we all get to see the results of that partnership.
The NikeLab x Kim Jones “Packable Sport Style” collection is inspired by the designer’s own world travels and the athletes preparing to pack up and head to Rio this summer. It includes his take on the Nike Air Zoom, plus a Windrunner jacket and more apparel. Jones sees travel as a supremely valuable endeavor, and with the aesthetic of this collection—youthful, bright, and modern—he might just inspire that same passion in younger generations.
The Nike Air Zoom was first introduced 21 years ago, launching Nike’s Air Zoom program, but Jones’ creation utilizes an Air Max last to form the shape a little differently, and packs in some newer technology like Flyknit, hyperfuse, and Flywire for support and structure.
The sneakers are presented in three different colorways. The first has a totally tonal black upper, the second is black and purple, and the third is mostly bright green with hits of black. All pairs feature a white midsole and black outside.
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In addition to the sneakers, Jones put together a packable Windrunner, a jacket made from a single piece of water-resistant fabric with minimal seams in bright colors. There’s also a short-sleeved Windrunner, lightweight pants and shorts, a tee—even a travel bag.
And this may only be the beginning: Jones says he has other shoes he’d like to work on in the future, like the Footscape. Nike is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to upcoming releases, so we should all be shocked if we don’t see a Kim Jones Footscape in the next year.
In the meantime, watch for the NikeLab x Kim Jones collection to release on July 23 through nike.com and select NikeLab stores.