The month of December breaths fresh air for the athletic giant, NIKE as today marks the new release of the highly anticipated NikeLab CHI store and the NikeLab ACG outerwear collection in collaboration with fashion’s secret weapons and style innovator; Errolson Hugh, co-founder of ACRONYM.
It’s been two years in the making since Mark Parker, CEO of NIKE announced Errolson’s design involvement with the NikeLab ACG collection; well the wait is over and the collection offers advanced weather protection, seamless integration with the past and future ACG apparel and adaptable elements like interior strap systems and adjustable collars. Basically, the new ACG collection is every bit of swaggy, sophistication, and fashion forward… But, one wouldn’t expect less from the two; NIKE x ACRONYM equals an easy #WIN.
That said, Thank you to the team at #NikeChicago for an amazing tour of the NikeLab CHI. Now, take a seat as Row A Seat 1 shares some cloth talk in an exclusive interview with the fly minimalist himself, Errolson Hugh…
Row A Seat 1: Errolson, can you share with me your experience when the Mike Parker, CEO of NIKE reached out to you about collaborating with the NIKELab ACG Collection?
Errolson Hugh: There was a lot going through my mind (Laughs). First of all, ACG is huge and has a great following so we were like if we’re going to do this we must do it right… We can’t mess it up. After the first meeting with Mark Parker, he gave the direction and he wanted it to be triple black (no color); no references to previous collections; it has to be totally new and sophisticated. I said, ‘okay, we definitely have some work to do’ (Laughs).
Row A Seat 1: As an innovative designer; your pieces from ACRONYM reflect your style of minimalism, functionality, and mobility. How did you set apart ACRONYM and NIKE; or how did you gel the two worlds together to give the ACG collection a fresher look?
Errolson Hugh: That’s a good question. We always like to think of it like when you get hired to do a job it’s more like a director asking an actor, ‘can you play this character?’ The actor uses all of the skills and all the things they’ve learned in their life’s experience to embody that director’s vision.
As designer’s we try to do the same thing. And when NIKE asked us (ACRONYM) ‘can you envision the next ACG?’ that’s what we try to do. Obviously, there’s parts of our experience and our personality that are going to show up in creating the collection, but primarily we’re concerned with how do we legitimately convey the idea or goals that fit ACG and NIKE.
Row A Seat 1: You definitely embodied the vision and revamped it effortlessly. What are some of your favorite pieces from the collection?
Errolson Hugh: This season, the Alpine jacket is the most advanced representation that ACG has yet; and it’s only possible now because we’ve worked on it for the past two years. So, all the stuff we learned by working with NIKE’s team and our team; we had to put it into this jacket.
The Alpine jacket has a lot of really good details; it’s asymmetric pockets, asymmetric center front zipper, the center front panel converts and you can fold it down for ventilation, the hood is a full funnel hood which flips back and becomes a normal shape storm hood, it has modular liner attachments that’s compatible to other liners as well; and the cut is called, ‘All Conditions Fit,’ which is an athletic ergonomic pattern making that we’re (ACRONYM) use to making, so it’s definitely different.
Row A Seat 1: How do you think the consumers will respond to the new ACG apparel?
Errolson Hugh: I mean I guess we’re going to find out… Hopefully, well (Laughs)! We’ve had some good residents and (the first season) the guys in New York (NIKE on Mercer St.) were telling me this is the first time they had kids lining up for apparel; they have kids lining up for shoes all the time, but this is the first for clothes so that’s a good sign.
I’ve always loved the hype and I love when people get excited, but I actually want to know what are your thoughts after you’ve worn it for a year or two. I question; ‘did you really like it after the novelty has worn off’ or ‘is it still your favorite?’ That’s the real test for me.
You don’t want to miss out… Put this on your Christmas List and stop through as you shop downtown for the holidays!
Located on the top floor of Nike Chicago, 669 North Michigan Avenue, the new NIKELAB CHI store is inspired by the ACG collection itself, the interior of the eighth NikeLab store globally was specifically designed to showcase sport-style in the Windy City. Hanging display racks opens up space and nod directly to the strap systems of the NikeLab ACG Alpine Jacket, System Blazer, and Funnel Hoody.