The NikeLab A.A.E. collection uses data from athletes in the design process

Nike has been using cutting-edge computing and sewing techniques for several years to push out innovations in its shoes, and now the company is taking the same thinking to its apparel, launching a new collection that uses breakthroughs in knitting technology to create clothing that is more adaptive to the wearer's needs.

The NikeLab A.A.E. (Advanced Apparel Exploration) 1.0 collection is a sports apparel range that was made using data from athletes, with the intent of better understanding how the body moves. Observing athletes in motion in a variety of settings, including urban and office environments, Nike apparel designers (as well as Flyknit engineers and computational designers), were able to create various motion and temperature maps, including airflow and sweat maps.

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These maps were then merged into a singular, complex data set that translated into a visual language that could be fed into Nike's advanced knitting machines. The end product advances both the archetypal design of the T-shirt and its everyday performance potential, correcting some the standard T-shirt’s limitations (like holding a bunch of sweat) and suboptimal interaction with the body in motion.

“It takes us to a completely different place,” said Kurt Parker, Nike VP of apparel design. “Instead of having to cut and sew multiple materials, we could just program the knitting machine to do it all at one moment, using one material instead of many.”

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The nine-piece menswear collection was made entirely using this technique and is combined with Nike's existing Flyknit technology, a nylon-spandex yarn that can be woven into ultra-thin layers. According to Parker, the entire collection is meant to work together harmoniously, with different pieces fitting together “like Russian nesting dolls,” from the base layer to the mid layer to outerwear. The collection is available now online and at select retailers.

Nike

Nike has been using cutting-edge computing and sewing techniques for several years to push out innovations in its shoes, and now the company is taking the same thinking to its apparel, launching a new collection that uses breakthroughs in knitting technology to create clothing that is more adaptive to the wearer's needs. The NikeLab A.A.E. (Advanced Apparel Exploration) 1.0 collection is a sports apparel range that was made using data from athletes, with the intent of better understanding how the body moves. Observing athletes in motion in a variety of settings, including urban and office environments, Nike apparel designers (as well as Flyknit engineers and computational designers), were able to create various motion and temperature maps, including airflow and sweat maps.