Nike is no stranger to designing lids that complement its signature sneaks once in a blue moon, but just last week, the athletic wear company revealed the first of many hats in a new collection that fully embraces creating perfect head-to-toe match-ups. Building on a long history of function and comfort (not to mention a slew of other types of NBA-ready sportswear), Nike’s new line includes styles that each sport their own unique blend of performance and style.
To make it happen, the brand tapped senior designer Ian Saiki, who is exclusively assigned to producing Nike’s line of basketball hats.
“Sports, fashion and self-expression directly link together,” says Saikie. “We’re infusing some new attitude into hats and building on the footwear stories for Kobe, LeBron and KD. It’s exciting to see all the passion around athletes, teams and moments that we bring to life through a hat.”
The three headlining silhouettes in his collection include the trucker-inspired Pro model, the five-panel AW84 model and the self-explanatory True Snapback.
The first three models to be revealed by Nike Inside Access were made with direct input from three of today’s greatest players: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant, whose signature sneaks the hats are designed to match. This first crop of styles can be seen complementing pairs of LeBron 11s Kobe 9s.
However, the hats have more than just their motifs and patterns in common with their respective shoes: they’re even made using many of the same materials as the sneakers for full-on synergy.
As mentioned before, Nike has made some killer match-ups in the past. Last year’s homage to LeBron James’ second championship win—the storied LEBRON X hat—represented Nike Basketball’s first attempt to instill headwear with sneaker-inspired detailing. The hat with Miami-inspired floral graphic and gold details instantly sold out, only whetting the appetite of sneakerheads, cap enthusiasts and street style aficionados.
If the success of Nike’s first sneaker-based hat is any indication, we’re urging those who hope to cop one of these new caps for themselves to stay tuned for more information. Nike will be revealing more styles as 2014 moves along over at Nike Inside Access
Photos: Nike Inside Access