In October 2010, Nike and Jun Takahashi, founder and head designer of Japan’s coveted clothing label Undercover, will release the first Nike x Undercover Gyakusou performance running collection.
The design partnership fuses cutting edge Nike running innovations and design with the functionality of Takahashi’s Undercover—whose dedication to a less-but-better design philosophy mirrors Nike founder Bill Bowerman’s passion for the athletic benefits of minimalism. It amplifies levels of technical precision and intuitive function, delivering a unique and modern perspective on running by runners.
Having started running two years ago, beginning with three to four runs per week, Takahashi soon found his distance increasing. “At the beginning I wasn’t as serious as I am now, but the more I ran, the more I came to enjoy it and I became increasingly focused. Now, I run 12 or 13km every other day. It’s kind of like meditation to me – but with adrenaline. Running allows me to balance these two opposites almost like a form of zen. Whenever I travel for business, I run there too. It’s part of my life. I have to run.”
Gyakusou takes its name from a small but highly dedicated group of Tokyo-based runners – including Takahashi – who passionately run in their city. The name Gyakusou comes from ‘gyaku’ meaning wrong
way or reverse and ‘sou’ meaning ‘run or running’ — a reference to the group running counter-clockwise while the rest of Tokyo’s runners run clockwise in the city’s parks. It draws upon a shared obsession for design innovation and improving the performance of the athlete.