When it was announced that the very first Under Armour Sport (UAS) collection by designer Tim Coppens would be presented at New York Fashion Week this September, we weren't really sure what to expect. Athleisure? Workwear? More dad sneakers of the Steph Curry x Under Armour variety?
Upon arriving at the show, which took place at a warehouse in South Street Seaport on the last day of NYFW, there were still more questions. According to the invite, there would be four "presentations" taking place every 30 minutes, and guests were instructed to arrive 10 minutes ahead of the one they chose to attend. Given the "eventization" of fashion shows, no one knew if it would be an actual runway, an interactive presentation or perhaps a performance by a surprise guest.
Minutes before the second presentation began, attendees were ushered into the dark space, lit only by flashing florescent lights. In the center of room was an installation constructed of metal pipe, from which dangled water-proof coats, workman boots and a cropped cream-colored crewneck sweatshirt with zipper details finished in navy.
WALK IT OUT: UAS' NYFW presentation. (Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
Finally, at show time, corrugated steel gates swung open to reveal the models - standing in a military-like formation not unlike at Kanye West's Yeezy presentations - who were dressed in warm urban streetwear (hooded parkas, anoraks, quilted nylon coats with removable sleeves attached by zipper).
After a few sharply choreographed formation changes, they marched quickly past the crowd in a circle around the installation before returning to the gates like sheep being herded back into the barn. The gates closed on the models once again, while members of the crowd wondered aloud, "Is it over?"
URBAN WARRIORS: UAS' NYFW presentation. (Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
According to show notes, UAS, which calls its look "modern American sportswear," was definitely made with utility in mind (its "fat tire boot" was constructed with neoprene lining, its "transition insulator jacket" with welded down fill), fusing Under Armour's technical sportswear with Coppens' recognizably minimalist, tailored aesthetic. Dresses with crisp asymmetrical hemlines, thigh-high stockings and pops of traffic cone orange are sure to keep the fashion crowd enticed.
Showgoers who blinked (or, like this writer, were too short even in platform sandals to see over Fabolous in the front row) may have missed the details of the clothes, but considering the collection is already available for purchase ("see-now, buy-now" strikes again) in Under Armour stores, Barneys New York and Mr Porter as well as online, does it even matter?