With the recent announcement of Nike’s new Fall 2018 Tech Pack, we wanted to take a look back at the line's history to bring you the story behind the range, and its highlights.

 

Tech Pack roots

Nike Tech Pack was born in 2007, but we need to venture much further back to really get to the source of the tech line. Nike has always had a bit of a dualistic nature, defined mainly as a sportswear brand, their clothing and apparel was from its inception aimed at athletes and sports activities, however, already in the early 70’s saw Nike clothing being worn more and more in fashion contexts by none athletes in a true streetstyle fashion. This meant a whole new demographic and set of demands opened up for Nike’s designers, as the needs of the track will differ from those of the street. 

The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 1

In the mid 70’s and early 80’s, Nike released some key pieces of clothing that would sow the seeds for the techwear development that lay in its future. Firstly Nike’s Windrunner jacket was revolutionary for a number of reasons, its development had been spurred on by the success of the Cortez and Waffle Racer shoes, it was a piece of apparel that had been developed in symbiosis with athletes. Heavy cotton was the standard fabric in use for athletic wear at the time, which wasn’t comfortable when training and sweating in both sunny and rainy conditions. The Windrunner, on the other hand, was made out of single layer lightweight nylon, that along with its cut, aided comfort and mobility while offering some protection against wind and rain. With its vivid colorways, it fused fashion and function and was soon adopted by a number of subcultures, who liked the look and performance it offered. Everyone from b-boys to ravers, to the athletes it was originally designed for, wore it and it opened Nike's eyes for the wants and needs of having apparel that looked fashionable but acted like performance sportswear. 

 

The 90's and beyond

In the wild aesthetic decade of the 90’s that laid ahead, several developments like for example the budding stages of digital aided technology, and working with figures like Michael Jordan and director Spike Lee, who directed many of the Nike ads at time, and two figures who aren’t used to accepting limits or no’s as an answer. Meant designs and performance were pushed to new creative heights at Nike, and lifestyle apparel received a previously unseen focus, as the markets grew. 

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Enter the 2000’s and 2010’s where the term techwear really comes into its own. Technical fabrics have been around for a while but here incorporating technology with great design really takes off, and soon comfort is to follow. The growing need and wants for having it all, style, comfort, and performance lays this trifecta as the foundation for Nike Sportswear creating its first Tech Pack in 2007. 

 

The First Tech Pack

Returning back to its Windrunner, the first tech pack released a revamped version of the classic jacket, using no sow technology, where the fabric is welded together using ultrasonic waves to avoid raw edge stitch marks. The initial launch also included a track jacket, a fleece crew, hoodie, the pocket tee and later that year, an M65 inspired field jacket in black and chino. All of which had gotten various tech updates. Here two main staples of the Tech Pack range were established, the Windrunner, and the use of fleece material, which both became an integral part of Tech Packs DNA. 

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The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 27
The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 26
The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 13
The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 15
The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 16
The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 14

In spring 2008 Tech Pack returned with a focus on lightweight and short-sleeved offerings. The theme was ‘Day and Night’ which was manifested also in the imagery of night landscapes and howling coyotes. The SS08 pack included the Firefly Packable jacket, Firefly Lightweight Bonded Windrunner, Firefly Messenger short and a Coyote tee and polo. Each piece also incorporated subtle cycling references and functions.  

 

Tech Packs 2013 - present

Tech pack then took a break but was reintroduced for the FW 2013 season. Returning to the marketing heritage of the Windrunner, seventeen of Nike’s leading global athletes helped design a collection that had its route in performance, but future in fashion. The first collection consisted of track tops and hoodies that beyond having been edited into cleaner futuristic silhouettes had been updated with technological advancements, making them extremely lightweight while still retaining heat and offering rain and wind protection. The collection was followed up with a holiday Tech Fleece pack, which brought fleece back into strong focus, the plush foam was placed between layers of cotton jersey creating a tri-layer fabric that provided comfort and warmth when needed.

The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 0
The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 17
The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 24
The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 23
The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 22

 

SS14

The summer 2014 range saw the focus on developing the packs lightweight, breathability, and durability aspects while presenting a new Nike innovation, its Hyperfuse technology. Hyperfuse creates a durable composite material composed of three layers, one for stability, one for breathability and the third for durability. The collection featured its staple Windrunner, a vest, and a stand out poncho. The 2014 range also features previously unseen installments of color to Tech Pack, the new multi-color combinations provided a playful freshness and would become a larger part of its future.  

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The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 28
The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 20

  

FW14

The 2014 Fall pack saw a return to the Nike fleece focus, introduced the year before. This round emphasized movement and environmental protection. The collection consisted of the Butterfly Jacket, FZ Hoodie, Nike Tech Funnel and Nike Tech Pants for women. While for men another round of evolution was brought to the Windrunner IRD, a water-resistant iridescent woven overlay. The men's collection also included the Nike Tech AW77 with iridescent overlays, the Nike Tech FZ Hoody, Nike Tech Crew and Nike Tech Pants. 

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The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 36
The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 29
The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 38

For the 2014 holiday season, a special reworking of certain of the fleece pieces in Nike’s Aeroloft fleece was released, the Aeroloft technology which bolsters warmth and adds an aspect of thermoregulation as it expels excess body heat via laser-cut zoned ventilation. 

 

SS15

For spring 2015 the pack returned in a new form, Nike Tech Aeroshield, which provided a featherweight barrier between the wearer and their temperate surroundings. When wearing jackets in balmy climates, many jackets tend to cling to the wearer and become uncomfortable, Nike Techs Aeroshield technology features internal flocking nodes that work mechanically to maximize space between the garment’s outer shell and the wearer’s skin, to keep you cool and comfortable, adding a water-resistant yet breathable chapter to the Windrunner legacy. The summer saw a special Hyperfuse Windrunner drop.

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The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 18
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The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 8
The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 6

 

FW15 

The fall season once again returned to fleece, the women’s line introduced vivid colors and bold new silhouettes that were built to layer. The Nike Tech Fleece Cape's feminine silhouette included a cocoon-like hood, while the Nike Tech Fleece Camo Crew presented a seasonal woodland camo print for the first time, which was also used in the men's range.

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The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 19
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The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 32

The holiday season saw the unveiling of Nike Tech Knit, which was engineered for warmth and designed to respond to its wearer’s environment and activity level while introducing a new, progressive aesthetic. Various details such as ergonomic zone, mesh and innovative layering informed by heat mapping gave warmth or contrasting ventilation where needed to provide all-day comfort. 

 

SS16

In Spring 2016 Nike introduced Nike Tech Hypermesh,  which is a blend of woven material for wind protection and spacer mesh for optimal breathability. In addition to providing ventilation, the spacer mesh is engineered to deliver modern shaping and an ergonomic fit to the staple Windrunner, classic crew, and the Hypermesh vest for women. 

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The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 34
The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 33

 

FW16

The fall season saw a colliding of worlds, with the pairing of Nike Tech Fleece with Nike Tech Knit for the first time. The collection’s classic crew and hoodie each featured a Tech Fleece body constructed of a pliable, lightweight layer plush foam that traps air to provide warmth, breathability, insulation, and articulation. The collection also featured for the first time the same color shifting ribbing that was used for the Olympic Medal Stand collection the summer before.

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The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 11

 

SS17 

The spring 2017 collection focused on Tech Knit, it saw Sr. Design Director, for Nike Women Sportswear, Johanna Schneider at the helm who’s work with some of the absolute pinnacle brands within techwear, Acronym, Stone Island and Nikelab, brought an incredible heritage of expertise to the line. 

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The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 39
The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 1
The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 3

 

FW17

The Fall 2017 Nike Tech Fleece collection returned with a men's and women's range, designed as a system for layering,  expanding further to include Nike new Tech Fleece Repel, a memory woven, water-repellent Nike Tech Fleece that allows the pieces to un-wrinkle without an iron. 

The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 5
The history of Nike Tech Pack With the upcoming new FW18 season we look back at its rich heritage | Image 4

  

The Future

Bringing us then to the present the new up and coming Nike Pack collection for fall 2018 sees completely renewed innovative materials used together with body-informed and environmental data to create functional and focused silhouette forms. The fall 2018 collection will once again feature another round of redesigning the classic Windrunner, as well as a Hooded Tech Pack Woven Jacket, and for women the Tech Pack crew, Pants. and Woven Track Jacket. 

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In today's highly tech-infused world where we now have a generation that's been born with iPhones and the internet always being everywhere, there's a demand or almost expectation that technology aides us in every aspect of our lives to the point of invisibility, Nike’s evolving Techs Pack are great examples of this, where everyday essentials protect us against all manner of condition without us even needing to think about it. 

Ultimately technology is often best when going completely unnoticed, we want clothes that can cope with every situation, keeping us warm, dry, ventilated and comfortable whatever the changing conditions. These are hard tasks to accomplish especially from the same item of apparel, but this is exactly what Nike’s Tech packs are able to do. Packing an incredible amount of ever-evolving technology, into relatively simple items that deal with all manner of challenging conditions so we don’t need to, all wrapped up in truly well-designed fashion, Nike Tech Packs are very much an indicator of the future of clothing.