UnderCover designer Jun Takahashi recently picked up a passion for running which, along with his Tokyo-based running crew called Gyakusou, caught the attention of athletic giant Nike. Gyakusou which means "running in reverse" and refers to his crew's propensity to run against traffic in Tokyo's parks is also the name of the capsule collection he's created for Nike Running, available for pre-order now. Takahashi was in New York recently and took some time to talk with The Style Blog about UnderCover, Nike, and the importance of harmony while on the move. After the jump. (Esquire)
In the last two years I have become an avid runner. It's kind of like meditation for me, but with adrenaline. Somebody from Nike knew about my running and they brought the idea of this project to me.
They told me the number of pieces the collection should be usually with UnderCover, there is much more but this is enough for running.
Each season of UnderCover starts with an idea, a concept or a story, but I constructed this completely from the runner's point of view, because I myself am a runner. In that sense, it is a very personal collection.
When I would go to buy clothes for running from other brands, something was missing. The clothes are not practical the colors are garish and attract attention. I wanted harmony for my collection, colors that blend in with the environment, fabrics that are silent when they move. Harmony. This was one of the most important points for me.
Nike develops some of the most advance performance fabrics in the world, and it was great to use those fabrics and techniques. They were the centerpiece.
I developed the whole apparel collection, but for this first time Nike did the shoes, I just did the coloring. I went to Nike's headquarters in Portland and worked with the developing team.