The KOBE 8 apparel collection was unveiled today at the Nike Vault, Nike Basketball's energy space, within the shadows of Kobe Bryant’s home arena in downtown Los Angeles.
Designed by Nike Basketball’s Michelle Walter and Sean Butterly, the collection represents the ultimate multi-use performance apparel collection that Nike has created for Basketball athletes.
Taking inspiration and creative direction from Kobe himself, as well as the KOBE 8 SYSTEM created by Eric Avar and the Innovation Kitchen team, the product mirrors the ethos of the Kobe System. Key pieces allow athletes to customize their look and performance needs depending on their preferences and conditions.
The Component Jacket is the collection’s pinnacle piece. It combines up to four separate pieces that integrate and perform depending on the athlete’s need. The outer shell is a lightweight water-resistant rip-stop fabric with a flocking application in the interior that delivers warmth retention. The jackets dual zipper is where the customization begins to come to life allowing the athlete to adapt to their environment.
The options to adapt include a performance fleece vest that keeps the athlete warm but allows for the natural movements of the sport. A lightweight Dri-FIT full-sleeved hoody delivers for the athlete looking for the next level of warmth and performance. And the performance fleece full-zip jacket maximizes heat retention. The Component Jacket is the pinnacle expression of this collection’s customization possibilities.
“Everything about the KOBE 8 apparel collection is about maximum efficiency," said Michelle Walter, Senior Apparel Designer, Nike Basketball. "We have engineered mesh where we know athletes need cooling areas and performance fleece where warmth retention is necessary. We have created an apparel line that delivers the Kobe System’s ability to adapt and perform in multiple environments."
The graphic and color inspiration follows from the footwear story utilizing a provocative snakeskin graphic inspired by Kobe’s on-court alter ego – The Black Mamba – with additional inspiration around the Chinese Year of the Snake that takes place in 2013.
"The pattern comes from merging snake scales with thermal vision and then overlaying the colors from various reptilian inspirations. We also created a segments infinity graphic that represents different parts working together as a system and four icons that represent Kobe’s mastery of his sport,” added Sean Butterly, Senior Graphic Designer, Nike Basketball.
The collection launches December 20, 2012, alongside the new KOBE 8 SYSTEM footwear line.