Count on Nike to “swoosh” in and save the day for pregnant women who want to stay active and cozy at the same time.
Today, the legacy sportswear company unveiled its new maternity collection Nike (M), which was carefully designed and perfected over the course of three years. The collection features a sports bra made from dry wick material that absorbs moisture from breast milk, tights with a stretchy waistband that can be folded down or pulled over the belly, a tank top with a scoop neck for convenient nursing, and a reversible fleece cover-up that adapts to a mom’s growing belly.
Carmen Zolman, Senior Design Director of Apparel Innovation, spoke with ESSENCE about what it took to build Nike (M) from scratch. She says the company analyzed 150,000 body scans of women around the world, which informed the designs. “Everyone is well aware of our pinnacle athletes and major sporting events that we support all the time. We truly put that same effort, passion, science, and research into maternity,” says Zolman.
Nike (M)’s maternity clothing not only fits the pregnant body like a glove but also seamlessly supports a mother’s postpartum transition. “I like to embrace the notion that you don’t get your body back, but you have this new, amazing body that has gone through intense physical challenge,” says Zolman. “We really wanted to honor those changes and not give women, during this journey, the feeling that they’re trying to fit into a pre-pregnancy garment. It may take a long time to come back or [your body] may just be forever changed. Now, you don’t have to think about those changes and make accommodations by buying different items. We’re going to do that work for you on the back end.”
Nike also says their maternity line is a continuation of its ongoing efforts to weave inclusivity and body positivity into their product offerings – making sport accessible for everybody with any body. The brand launched its first-ever plus sized sports apparel line in March 2017 after complaints that it didn’t offer enough athletic wear for full-figured women. Subsequently, a plus-size mannequin was placed at its flagship store in London, drawing controversy and profitability at the same time.
The Nike (M) collection will be available for purchase September 17 on nike.com.