witness the fitness as nike teams up with johanna schneider on a collection of luxury training wear

We speak to the German designer about her new collaboration with the sportswear giant, inspired by the architecture of the human body.

by Francesca Dunn
26 February 2015, 1:06pm

"The best collaboration is one that brings partners to places that neither could have reached on their own." With CEO Mark Parker's wise words in mind, Nike has earned a reputation for its successful collaborations with both athletes and innovative creatives. In doing so, they are able to reassess contemporary needs and create revolutionary solutions. For their latest collection they have teamed up with independent designer Johanna Schneider. Born, raised and based in Berlin, Johanna has experience spanning both high and technical fashion, having worked for the likes of Kostas Murkudis, Acronym and Stone Island Shadow Project. 

A deep love of fitness training and running combined with a covetable knowledge of clothing construction makes her Nike's dream accomplice. "Over the past few years the idea of creating a performance collection for women had been increasingly on my mind, and to download my visions into such a project with Nike was ideal," Johanna explains. Inspired by the architecture of the human body, Johanna's designs are rooted in the idea that clothes should allow for movement and expression. "Clothing, to me, is the smallest scale of human habitation," Johanna says. "It is the most intimate environment; it gives you protection, support and comfort while communicating your personality." A firm believer in the importance of customization, outfits are built up via a layering system, allowing wearers to adjust, evolve and maintain optimum comfort throughout their workout. "When I think of designing a garment, I think of creating environments," says Johanna. "My ideal environment has to be modular and able to adapt to every situation. For some occasions, I might feel I need support and want to be covered up, but on other occasions I want to open up my clothing and be more free; I want my clothing to breathe." Every detail in the collection is created with purpose and performance in mind, changing volume and position on the body according to demand. As well as versatility, individual items integrate Nike's signature Dri-FIT technology, laser cutting and lightweight bonded finishes. All garments are built to move and interact with the female physique; the slit sides in a tank top open gently with movement, while a thoughtfully placed zip opens the collar of a crop top both increasing breathability and revealing the collarbone. 

"My idea for feminine silhouettes is to strike a balance between hiding and revealing parts of the body. I don't want you to have to think about the garment while you are working out." The pièce de résistance is without a doubt the capelet. Built using rectangular geometry, it comes to life as it drapes around the body in one of three ways - open, closed with a belt, or wrapped around the hips as a warm-up skirt. "It definitely embodies key aspects of modularity and interaction with the body," smiles Johanna. "Using performance materials provides additional options to work with, something which will hopefully feel as natural for the rest of the fashion world as it does for me."



Text Francesca Dunn
Photography Nick Dorey
Styling Jack Borkett
Hair James Rowe at D+V Management using Bumble & bumble 
Make-up Laura Dominique at Streeters using M.A.C.
Photography assistance Jordan Grant, Fabian Nordstrom, Ted Park
Digital technician Olivia Estebanez
Styling assistance Kate Iorga
Casting Ben Grimes.
Lighting Rob Ceck at Big Sky Lighting
Production Sarah Clements at D+V Management
Model Sarah Brannon at Premier
Sarah wears all clothing Nike x JFS.

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fashion interviews
jack borkett
nick dorey
johanna schneider
nike x jfs