For many designers, somewhere along the way between concept and execution their vision gets lost in the shuffle, but not so for Jun Takahashi of Japanese label, Undercover. Takahashi is now approaching the fourth year of his Gyakusou collection, a collaborative effort with Nike that exists at the intersection between high fashion and performance running gear.
As anyone that has ever laced up a pair of sneaker can attest, running is as much an emotional pursuit as it is an athletic one. Takahashi has never been one to shy away from emotion in his work. His Undercover collections are often rife with quotes from shoegaze songs, dark tones, and lush textures. As for Gyakusou, which roughly translates into “running in reverse,” as a reference to the fact that Takahashi and his friends run the “wrong way” through Tokyo, the collection has always been a meditation on how runners interact with their environment.
For this Spring/Summer season, Takahashi has honed in on the dualistic nature of running. He views the activity as “a struggle between joy and agony, elation and exhaustion, persistence and surrender,” and these binaries can be seen in the two-toned pieces and complimentary designs that make up his most recent Gyakusou collection. Beneath this ying-yang motif lies the real benefit of the Gyakusou line, Nike’s Dri-Fit and Sweat Map technology, which measures the parts of your body that are most susceptible to temperature spikes as you exercise, and helps to prevent overheating in those areas.
It’s this complementary relationship between aesthetics and efficiency that defines the Gyakusou line, bringing us all one stride closer to achieving peace of mind as we pound the pavement.