It’s no secret that to create effective athletic gear, it takes direct input from the athletes. Hence the reason Nike started its development process for the new 2018 WNBA uniforms with the basketball players that will actually be wearing them.
“We spent some time getting insights from them, learning what they wanted in this new uniform with Nike and then from there we dove into the design and what that could be. Then, we continued to work through the development process and ultimately to where you see today living and breathing uniforms that will take place on court next month,” said Keri Lenker, Sr. Manager Identity, Outfitting and Equipment at the NBA, during a press preview.
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Each of the 12 teams in the league will have two sets of uniforms, an Icon Edition and a Statement Edition. The Icon Edition is based around the team’s more recognizable primary colors while the Statement Edition features its secondary colors. On the front of the uniform are the team’s actual colors, while the back of each is a slight shade darker for a gradient effect.
A “Wings of Victory” concept set the tone for some of the key design attributes. More specifically, it was the “strong, powerful design lines” created by flying wind machines that were the guiding inspiration for the styles. Essentially, the brand wanted to evoke the idea that players could “take off for success” uninhibited in these uniforms.
Thanks to Nike’s unique engineering, players should be able to do just that. A scapula-cut design along the jerseys aim to help the athletes in motion, minimizing restrictions to their movements. As for the shorts, the brand introduced side vents that provide more room as players take specific stances on the court.
Nike then took things a step further with the fabric. By analyzing where females sweat using digital body mapping, the brand utilized a closed-hole mesh material that makes the sweat move in a certain pattern for pinnacle moisture and temperature regulation.
In addition, Nike’s uniforms boast customizable sizing. By switching from alpha sizing to numeric sizing, players are able to better customize their uniforms to fit their exact measurements. The brand also introduced various lengths for the shorts, which are now offered in short rise and regular rise depending on where players prefer for the shorts to sit on their hips.
There’s no shortage of innovative new details on the WNBA uniforms, but one final unique touch are the “Championship Tabs” located on the back neck of the jerseys which call out how many championships a team has won.
Check out the new uniforms in action when the season begins on May 18, kicking off the league’s 22nd season.
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