The Technology: Gyakusou’s Aeroloft Vest

David Hellqvist on the AW13 Nike x Undercover jacket fit for the future

NikeSix seasons in, Gyakusou – Nike’s partnership with Undercover’s Japanese designer Jun Takahashi – is a tried and tested fashion-slash-sportswear collaboration. Where others get the balance between and style and substance wrong, resulting in too many details and over-designed exercise gear, Takahashi’s Gyakusou International Running Association early on toned down the trend aspect and, due to the designer’s ever-increasing marathon obsession, focused the brand on maximum mobility and functionality.

With such ambitions it’s crucial to constantly develop high-tech fabrics and innovative sartorial solutions. Thankfully, Takahashi has the entire might of Nike’s Portland, Oregon, laboratory at his disposal. In line with the sportswear giant’s ‘Nature Amplified’ ethos, Gyakusou aims to increase the human body’s ability to push its limits. For AW13, Gyakusou tackled that challenge with a new temperature-regulating technology; Aeroloft is designed to enhance the running experience, whether it’s in a warm or cold climate.

Exclusively used in the Aeroloft 800 Vest, the ultra-light insulating layer is composed of perforated down allowing for precision ventilation. “Movement activates ventilation in the vest, enabling heat to escape the body through laser-cut holes situated between the down chambers. The 800-fill down is body-mapped to maximise mobility and warmth where needed most,” says Lee Holman, Vice President of Nike Apparel.

Tested on a specially designed sweating mannequin and by elite runners in Japan and New Zealand, the technology perfectly sums up the Gyakusou DNA: performance-enhancing technology that looks good. “Wicking Dri-FIT side and shoulder panels further boost breathability, while the rip-stop nylon exterior provides durability and protection from wind. Lightweight and low key, the Nike Aeroloft 800 Vest folds up to fit in a pocket for easy layering and carrying,” Holman explains. In Nike’s worlds, data-driven knowledge and human athleticism go hand in hand.

Photography by Thomas Brown