Nike is focused on creating a bond between motherhood and sports with its upcoming activewear collection.
The athletic brand announced its first maternity collection, Nike (M), slated to release Sept. 17.
Nike (M)'s debut offerings will include a sports bra, pullover top, tank and tights that will all be available online.
"The more we listened to expecting mothers and postpartum mothers, the more we learned, reworked and innovated through inclusive design," said Carmen Zolman, Nike senior design director for apparel innovation in a statement. "It's the project of a lifetime to work in lockstep with all kinds of mothers to bring to life a capsule that truly supports women's relationship with sport during such a transformative time in their lives."
Nike's maternity collection came into fruition by combing through pregnancy data findings and analytics from more than 150,000 comparison scans of non-pregnant women against those of pregnant women. This process allowed for feedback on fit, feel and function directly from about 30 athletes who were pregnant or postpartum.
After analyzing data and closely listening to concerns of insight from athletes such as soccer star Alex Morgan and retired British track and field athlete Perri Edwards, the brand developed a line with the notion of being there for all stages of a woman’s sports' life.
The tights feature Nike's stretchiest fabric and also has a wide waist band that grows and adapts with a mother's body pre- and post-pregnancy. There's also easy access for nursing and pumping throughout the collection.
Another standout from the line is the Tulip-Design Coverup which can be worn in reverse during pregnancy as the split hem allows extra room for growing stomachs. After pregnancy, the same fleece can be used to assist in discreet nursing.
Nike tested 70 materials before narrowing down to nine palettes across four styles that include sustainable elements such as recycled bronze material, recycled polyester and organic cotton.
Golfer and U.S. Women's Open champion Michelle Wie West gave birth in June, and was an early tester of the Nike (M) collection. "I loved how soft the [Nike One (M)] tights were and the fact that if you were a size medium before, you could be a size medium in the Nike (M) line," she said in a statement. "It takes the guesswork out of everything and it boosts your confidence."
"It's like skin: it'll shrink back. It grows with you. It decreases in size with you. I love that it's a part of the journey," Wie said.