“Obsessive Perfectionists” isn’t a new psychoanalytical term, rather it is a general description for designers at Nike. You can easily spot them on the company’s Beaverton campus. They are usually that dreary bunch in the cafeteria, never content about any designs, be that Nike’s own or competitors’. But what you won’t find them doing is sitting around complaining. Instead, they’re constantly hurrying between workstations, the Innovation Kitchen, new material suppliers, and production facilities oversea, all for the process of discovering that “next best thing.” Such was the route that led to the new Nike Tech Fleece, the Swoosh’s rendition of a sports staple.
Before embarking on the task to re-imagine an entire sportswear category, designers at Nike Sportswear simplified their mission into three essentials – Fit, Feel, and
Function. Through each tweak, each alteration, the three Fs reminded them on how the end product should be. What the team came away with was a tri-layer construct featuring a thin foam layer sandwiched between two layers of cotton jersey. Counterintuitive at first glance, Nike found that not only the new fleece wicked moisture and insulated better than the traditional cotton ones, it was lighter since less materials went into its production. That and other interesting revelations were presented recently by Lee Holman, Vice President of Nike Apparel Design, during the Nike Tech Fleece Collection’s exclusive invite-only unveiling in Hong Kong back in May 2013.