NIKE PRO BRA COLLECTION

More than two years of research, testing and design leads to revolutionary new bra collection and Nike Pro 360 Fit System.

Nike Pro Combat
Singapore,  July  2014  –  More  so  than  any  other  part  of  the  workout  wardrobe,  the  sports  bra  is  arguably the most important and the heart of every female athlete’s workout.

Probably  the first thing she puts on, sports bras make it clear that no two women are quite the  same. Different physiques and different needs across a wide range of activities require a  heightened focus on narrowly tailored personalization.  In this regard, fit and support are  paramount. A sports bra that doesn’t fit right is motivation not to work out.

“We have a saying here, ‘No bra, no workout, no run’.” Says Julie Igarashi, Vice President of  Global Design for Nike Women’s Training. “The majority of women are wearing the wrong-­‐sized  bra.  This is something we needed to fix.”

This insight inspired Nike to devote more than two years of research, testing, design and  development to creating a new sports bra solution. The result of that work is the Nike Pro Bra  Collection, an innovative line of sports bras designed  for the body in motion to provide  the  right fit and right support  for every female athlete.

The Nike Pro Bra Collection features five bras designed for each athlete’s desired level of support. The centerpiece of the collection is the Nike Pro Rival Bra, which delivers the highest level of support and is offered  in  25  sizes to help the female athlete find the right fit. The  collection also features the new  Nike

Pro Fierce Bra, as well as the updated Nike Pro Classic and Nike Pro Indy Bras. The Nike Pro  Classic Bra is also available in a padded version.

Nike Pro Fierce
The bras are complemented by the new Nike Pro 360  Fit System, which employs a Nike-­‐created  calculator to help female athletes find their precise size.  Together,  the  bras  and  fit  system  represent  the  culmination  of  a  global  design  journey in  which  every detail was obsessed, all the way down to the fibres found in the fabrics.

Athlete insights and early research

Athlete  insights  are  the  lifeblood  of  Nike  design.  In  the  early  stages  of  its  sports  bra  research,  Nike interviewed  a number of athletes. An important  theme emerged: the higher the support, the lower the comfort.

“Our  mission  was  clear,”  Nike  Innovation  Designer  Stephy  Scott  says.  “We  needed  to  develop  bras offering  a  continuum  of  support  without  sacrificing  comfort.  The  need  for  a  high  support  bra  that wouldn’t compromise fit for function was especially critical.”

To build a bra up, Nike needed  to break it down,  work that would  require  an entire  team. This team, spanning  research,  design  and development,  embarked  on a global  journey  of innovation.
It met with some of the world’s leading bra specialists and studied bra manufacturing  best practices. Particular focus was placed on linger construction.

The journey also brought the Nike team to the United Kingdom, where it partnered with Loughborough University, one of only a handful universities in the world that conducts sports bra research.

Nike Pro Rival

Biomechanical testing

At  Loughborough,   both  Nike  and  university  researchers  worked  together  to  conduct  biomechanical testing of female athletes in motion. By using a motion analysis system that captures
video at an ultra-­‐ slow rate of 200 frames per second, researchers were able to track the breast motion of athletes wearing the  bras  while  running  on  treadmills.  Among  other  outputs,  this testing  recorded  displacement,   a measure  of how much the breast moves. It was clear that managing  displacement  with an appropriate level of sports bra support would be vital.

In total, more than 600 hours of biomechanical testing were conduction, both at Loughborough and in the Nike Explore Team Sport Research Lab.

“In addition to measuring displacement,  our testing also revealed that in most sports of a female athlete plays, breasts tend to move in the shape of a butterfly  – up and left, down, up and right, down,” says Martine Mientjes, Nike Apparel Innovation project Research Director. “With a scientific understanding  of how the breast moves, our designers  were able to be extremely  precise in where to emphasize  added support in the bras.”

Nike Pro Classisc

Materials Research
The sports bra is the true sum of its parts. Every component has the potential to either hurt or help its performance. The materials that comprise a sports bra are prime examples o this. For instance, two of the same  fabrics  can  have  significantly  different  stretch  properties  if  they  originate  from  different  batches.  If the fabrics stretch differently, they will fit differently.

To  maintain  consistent  fit,  as  well  as  soft-­‐hand  feel  and  support,  Nike  obsessed  materials.  Reserachers  analysed  and  tested  a  number  of  fabrics  for  stretch,  recovery,  moisture  management  and
modulus. Modulus  which  reveals  how  difficult  or  easy  it  is  to  stretch  a  fabric,  was  an  integral  consideration. Modulus not only delivers support, but also is the best measure for the consistency of stretch
fabrics from batch to batch.

“We  continue   to  look  at  innovative   ways  to  maintain   high  standards   for  our  fabrics,”  says  Richa Maheshwari,   a  Nike  Innovation  Materials  Researcher.   “Our  discoveries  pushed  us  to  create  a  new threshold for how we evaluate stretch fabrics.” The Nike Pro Rival Bra is the pinnacle example of this high standard. It features a fabric constructed from fine nylon yarns for a soft-­‐hand feel, which is a staple of lingerie construction. State of the art knitting machines were employed to knit the fabric nearly twice as tightly as fabric found in typical apparel. The result is an ultra-­‐soft performance fabric that provides the appropriate amount of stretch and modulus to help deliver support and a consistent
fit.

Researchers  also devoted significant  through to the chest band, the architectural  foundation  of the bra. The chest  band,  which  ehlps  to provide  comfort  and support  with  a better  fit, has historically  been  a lightning rod for criticism.

“We searched for the softest elastics for a zero distraction feel,” Maheshwari says. “We also ensured that the  materials  used  included  the  appropriate   amount  of  stretch  and  modulus
for  a  consistent  and supportive fit.”

Nike Pro Indy

Fitting
The design journey not only starts with the athlete, but ends with the athlete as well. More than 300 wear tests to assess support and fit were performed  worldwide.  In addition, the bras were put through more than 1,800 hours of wash testing to assess shrinkage, durability, hand feel and visual appearance.

To ensure the power of finding the perfect fit can be in the athlete’s hands, Nike developed the Nike Pro360 Fit System. Born out of two years of development,  the system requires the female athlete to enter her ribcage circumference  and cup size into a Nike-­‐created calculator. The calculator will then produce a recommended  bra size. Initial testing on 100 athletes showed the system to be approximately  80 percent
accurate.

“While  we  find  this  percentage  incredibly  exciting,  it’s  just  a  starting  point,”  Nike  Women’s  Training Technical  Development  Director  Kerryn  Foster  says.  “  We  look  forward  to continuing  to  improve  the accuracy of this new fit system.”

Female athletes will be able to use the Nike Pro 360 Fit System on Nike.com. For more information on the Nike Pro Bra Collection, please watch: www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0aF7GAy8XE
The Nike Pro Bra collection is available at Nike outlets island-­‐wide from S$49 – S$89. A breakdown of each bra in the collection, from highest to lightest support in the Fact Sheet attached.

 

 

 

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