One of the most successful sportswear pairings returns, and now with clothing for men
Is Sacai the most popular Japanese label right now? And the most trending? From constantly being in the fashion news cycle, it’s already a resounding yes. But the label’s success is not only from the free publicity it gets. It’s also in the merchandise they can sell. And they sure can, especially with their collaborations. Just look at the last sellout: the once-old-school Nike sneaker, the Blazer Low, released on 10 June, and all snapped up within 30 minutes at Nike’s website. Or, the LDVaporWaffle, conceived for Jean Paul Gaultier, released just before the couture show last month—they’re similarly out of stock within minutes. The micro-site set up for the special commemorative merchandise is now marked by “sold out” throughout. In fact, Nike’s collaboration with Sacai generally enjoys close-to-100% sell-through and is considered as desirable as the sportswear giant’s with other Japanese brands such as Comme des Garçons, Junya Watanabe, and Undercover.
And now, Sacai is launching its largest capsule with Nike to date, including, for the first time, apparel specifically for men. Released in Japan and globally yesterday, the collection will be available here at DSMS from tomorrow. Expect a fiercely enthusiastic turnout even when many would not be there to witness Sacai expressing “the value of connecting everything in sports as imagination, potential, and vitality… a mixture of all the elements of sport, such as creativity and overflowing fun”, so stated in their media release. It is doubtful anyone would don a S$379 hoodie to Kallang Tennis Centre or True Fitness, but they might be enticed by seriously stylish clothing that they could wear when bringing a date to the cinema. The eye-popping Nike X Sacai LDV Waffle needs a companion top. As we have come to expect of Sacai, her wearable pieces of cropped tops, hoodies, jackets, skirts, pants, and leggings will bear the Japanese label’s love of unexpected details: inserts, uneven hems, paneling, and even the utility pocket (usually associated with a flight jacket) on the sleeve—Windrunner-meets-MA-1!
The latest Nike X Sacai Blazer Low: sold out
The American sports brand (now drawing attention at the Olympics, especially with their striking masks), under its Nikelab imprint, and the Japanese fashion burando came together back in 2015 when they released the surprisingly small, eight-piece womenswear capsule that truly surprised and delighted the fashion world in equal measure. This was a collaboration as much as it was a collision. Until then, it was rare to see athletic apparel for women that ultra-feminine. We are referring to the voluminous, flared silhouette, with unapologetically femme details, such as pleats (even plissé) and lace trims. Designer Chitose Abe referenced Nike’s past designs for running, tennis, even American football, but the result looked nothing like what Nike had until then produced. It was like a total remake of the Swoosh aesthetic. And it worked: the collection sold out.
Cut to 2019: Ms Abe took two distinctive Nike silhouettes, the LDV Waffle and the Daybreak, and somehow banged them together to form a new shoe. She did not merely change the fabric or colour of the upper, or add monogrammed panels to the sides; she deconstructed and hybridised. You didn’t think such a shoe could be made. As extreme as the resultant kicks looked then, they were acceptable—more importantly covetable. In that time, the LDV Waffle Daybreak was considered by both journalists and sneakerheads as sneaker of the year. Sacai suddenly became a brand with performance-wear cred—the one to watch. And now with a full clothing line, is an equivalent of Gyakusou in the pipeline for both brands? In Olympics parlance, since we’re just half-way through Tokyo 2020, you always go for gold.
The Sacai X Nike collection is available at Sacai Hilton and DSMS tomorrow. Photos: Sacai X Nike