Springtime often heralds new beginnings and moments of internal reflection. Awaking from a long winter slumber, where dark and foreboding evenings promote hearty soups and good books, spring is a season of change. It’s the season where you bring out your shorts or that vintage floral dress hidden in the back of your wardrobe; it’s the season where you take the dust cover off your bike for leisurely rides; and it’s the season where exercise no longer becomes a chore but a pleasure. That’s what’s happening up in the northern hemisphere, but down under, as summer fades into cooler times, autumn seems just as appropriate a season to reflect and get physical.
A form of exercise that changes during the season – from a pursuit of the hardcore fanatic to an activity of the everyday sloth – is running. Running is possibly one of the easiest ways to engage with the natural environment. It enhances your body’s rhythm with its inherent physicality and forces you to utilise all of your senses as you step over obstacles and explore new trails. Key to how you engage with the environment is the apparel that you wear.
Technical sportswear is all too often the product of sports companies whose design approach values function over form. Refreshingly, some brands like Nike have been searching for ways to differentiate themselves in a crowded market by collaborating with brands such as cult Japanese fashion label Undercover.
Jun Takahashi, creative director of the brand, is a dedicated runner himself and has described running as the most basic and rewarding of physical pursuits. His Gyakusou collection is based around key pieces such as shoes, shorts, tights and all weather jackets, and like his fashion items, exhibit an interesting take on masculinity juxtaposed with intriguing design details. All items in this collection are designed specifically for running, with fabrics used to wick sweat away, stretch in certain panels to enhance more efficient leg turnover and shoes that are light and flat, promoting better foot strike. It is the perfect meeting point between function and form.
The Gyakusou Nike x Undercover collection is available in March at Incu stores.
Watch monks running in the collection here: