First look at Nike’s new active maternity collection

MPHO RANTAO

MOST mothers-to-be find it tiring to find, wear and change out of clothing they need to be active while pregnant.

Nike has a solution. The company has launched an active gear range that is comfortable for all mothers-to-be when they’re either at working out at the gym, out on the road or working out in the comfort of their homes. 

This week saw popular active sports brand Nike promote their new collection, titled Nike (M), for sporty moms to be, explaining that the collection aims to “support women during all stages of pregnancy and beyond”. 

The collection was designed with all of the aspects of pregnancy, extreme body changes and breastfeeding, kept in mind. Nike Senior Design Director for apparel innovation Carmen Zolman began working on the collection three years ago by interviewing over 30 professional female athletes, as well as many mothers and their relationship with sports during this transformative era. 

“It’s the project of a lifetime to work in lockstep with all kinds of mothers to live a capsule that truly supports women’s relationships with sport during such a transformative time in their lives”, Zolman explained.

Zolman also worked with retired British athlete Perri Shakes-Drayton (nee Edwards) by testing the collection in various workouts once it was created.

British Olympian Perri Shakes-Drayton at 29-weeks pregnant. Picture: Twitter

The promotional images for the collection feature the faces of US professional golfer Michelle Wie West with her child, Shakes-Drayton, multimedia artist Marz Lovejoy, Spanish Olympic synchronized swimmer Ona Carbonell, and athlete Jeneil Williams.

“It gives you that confidence when you know your clothes fit and you look good”, Shakes-Drayton said, who also tested the entire collection prior to the announcement.

US golfer Michelle Wie West 3-weeks postpartum. Picture: Supplied 

“The Nike (M) sports bra is great because it’ll give me easy access for when I want to breastfeed,” says Shakes-Drayton. “The leggings give you options of wearing it over your tummy or showing your tummy, and the maternity shirt has this extra material for the extra weight that I’m carrying. You look very smart, very comfortable, very hip.”

The collection features a four-piece sustainable capsule in black, grey and pink with the signature white swoosh. There is a quick-dry nursing sports bra; a reversible, super-soft pullover that doubles as a breastfeeding cover-up; super stretchy tank top and leggings that can cover your bump, or fold down underneath it.

Jamaican model Jeneil Williams at 39-weeks pregnant. Picture: Supplied

The launch of the collection comes after Nike received heavy criticism regarding their treatment of pregnant athletes. In the past, the brand has come under fire not only for its treatment against pregnant women, but for also having a toxic workplace culture towards women. The company faced a congressional inquiry a year ago over allegations and treatment against pregnant athletes.

Top American athlete Alysia Montaño and sponsored Nike runner Phoebe Wright both admitted how difficult it was to keep their sponsorships with Nike if the brand were to learn of their pregnancies. 

American multimedia artist Marz Lovejoy. Picture: Nike

Once their stories were made public, the brand faced huge backlash over their treatment and forced the brand to institute a policy that guaranteed an athlete’s pay and bonuses through their pregnancy. 

Zolman told Vogue.co.uk, “There are already enough complications and distractions in life to keep you away from sport, and we definitely don’t want your sports apparel to be one of them”. 

Spanish Olympian Ona Carbonell at 36-weeks pregnant. Picture: Supplied

The capsule collection also displays Nike’s next steps in enforcing the brand’s mission to make women’s sport as inclusive as possible. 

The brand has worked over recent years to fill in the gaps of their brand’s offerings for women, and to date has released a plus size line, World Cup football kits that are designed around women’s bodies, and the Nike Victory Swim collection (a modest swimming tunic with a built-in hijab).

The Nike (M) collection launches in Africa, Europe and North America on September 17 on Nike.com.



Translate »