Saluti da E.U.R. - NikeLab & Kim Jones in Rome
Photography Paul Kominek & Sara Katrine Thiesen
In order to celebrate this union between technology and tradition, we decided to set our exclusive fashion editorial collaboration with NikeLab and Jones in Rome’s E.U.R. district. The acronym stands for “Esposizione Universale Roma,” and indeed the neighborhood was planned to host the world’s fair and to exhibit Italy’s latest answers to modern urbanism, architecture, design, and sports. Finally completed for the Summer Olympics 1960 held in the city, the neighborhood is famous for its orthogonal city plan inspired by Roman Imperial urban planning and for its monumental white architecture characteristic of Italian Rationalism. The buildings’ traditional materials and revolutionary minimal lines were a simplification and modernization of neo-classical architecture and have influenced the most talented architects, from David Chipperfield to Peter Zumthor passing through Oscar Niemeyer. Today E.U.R. has become Rome’s center for sports, finance, and with its newly opened Museum of Fashion in the iconic Palazzo della Civilta’ Italiana, also known as the Squared Colosseum, also for fashion.
With this collection, NikeLab has focused on equipping both professional travelers and elite athletes with the best textile technologies and innovative fashion. To do so it paired up with fashion designer Kim Jones, whose design inspiration stretches from exotic places he lived in during his childhood, the streets of East London he walked during his youth, to the cities and regions he now visits for work. Indeed, for Jones travel is a sport that can be mastered with timing and space efficiency, so for this collection he used a utilitarian approach to create the most technically advanced apparel that would save frequent travelers’ essential time and packing space while safeguarding comfort and style. The result is, for instance, Nike’s paradigmatic Windrunner now as NikeLab style made out of one piece of fabric with minimal seams that can be packed in its own pouch. As an homage to his sneaker-obsessed youth, Jones took the 1995 Nike Air Zoom LWP and remodeled it to a contemporary silhouette while adding a color neon palette that “was looking at the future.”
At E.U.R. we took the NikeLab x Kim Jones: Packable Sport Style collection for a run on a track surrounded by onlooking statues of Roman demigods and heroes, and then sauntered on the sidewalks, contrasting the collection's futuristic color palette against the buildings’ diaphanous limestone slabs.