Nike launches two new innovative running shoes

Want to update your running kit? The future of footwear is here, and it’s #NatureAmplified

Don’t even think about asking a serious runner to lace up anything other than their trusted, tried and tested running shoes. When you’ve got your feet firmly in a decent pair, you get all the right amounts of bounce, glide and stride. Joint pains? A thing of the past. Blisters? Save those for a Friday night on the dance floor. Chunky cluggers? Please, it’s the 21st century. Running shoes are like an extension of the runner’s body – they’re a support system that have your back through the hours of lonesome hard training and during every moment you need to break through a wall to take grasp of your new PB. It’s just you and the shoes against the world.

And if you can do it all in style, well, all the better. Sports giant Nikehas been a brand that has consistently pushed the boundaries in fusing performance and style, evident through its collaborations with fashion icon Liberty London as well as its fun, fluoro colourways lining the gym floors these days. Pairing statement designs with unrivalled technology might seem superficial on the surface, but what effect does feeling good have on your performance? Let’s face it – good vibes can seriously boost your session, whether you’re rocking the über cool Flyknit Lunar1+ during race training or the chic Studio Wraps in a Pilates class.

Nike is known as one of the world’s most pioneering sports brands, developing its innovations with the ‘athlete’ in mind. If you think this culture dismisses the general gym-goer, recreational runner or slapdash spinner; think again. ‘If you have a body, you’re an athlete,’ Nike proclaims, and we couldn’t agree more. Its new design ethos is ‘nature amplified,’ and using its impressive scientific data and research in combination with its athlete insights; it’s brought us two new running shoes that yet again raise the bar in running.

Nike Free Flyknit

When the ‘Free’ concept launched in 2004, Nike brought to the mainstream a minimalist shoe that runners could really use. Taking into account our modern concrete jungle surroundings, the impressive shoe sported a flexible sole that alluded to the feeling of freedom without exposing our fragile feet to the harsher aspects of the environment – perfect for the urban dweller in search of a more natural ride.

Fast forward to 2012 when Nike pushed out its much-hyped Flyknittechnology which boasted shoes with a seamless knitted upper, using selected yarns to create compression just where it was needed. Those who believed the hype were right to do so. The result was an incomparable snug fit teamed with a lightweight feeling of nothingness to produce almost a second skin on the feet.

Two genius concepts that were waiting to meet. August 1st will be the date when the match made in heaven will be available to the UK in the form of the Nike Free Flyknit. This time, the Flyknit upper is more compressive than ever without abandoning comfort, reminiscent of a futuristic sock that holds and secures the feet in all the right places. The Free+ 5.0 midsole gives you cushioning, it gives you flexibility, it gives you freedom. If you want to run further, faster – slip your feet into these.

Nike Free Hyperfeel

If the Free+ 5.0 midsole doesn’t bring you close enough to the earth, then hold out for the ground-breaking Nike Free Hyperfeel, designed to move with your body like they’re not even there. The waffle outsole supports you at the key pressure points to offer protection and cushioning, yet strips back to as little as possible. The result? A truly minimalist shoe with maximum sensation, free from the troubles that come with actually running barefoot.

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Adding to this minimalist feel is, again, the Flyknit upper. Want proof of just how minimalist this shoe is? A typical Nike Air Pegasus running shoe features 57 different components. The Free Hyperfeel? Just 7. By ditching the unnecessary layers and panels, Nike brings users closer to environment – in more ways than one, with the construction of the Flyknit upper reducing Nike’s typical upper waste by an average of 90%.

Those desperate to experience this nature-inspired ride will have to wait until September 5th when the shoe launches in the UK. A date for the diary, no doubt.

The Nike Free Flyknit will retail at £130 and is now av

‘W Magazine’ shows how fashion is embracing augmented reality

The fashion world loves augmented reality. From Gap to Nike, brands are trying to find different ways to integrate the technology into their retail experience. Now W Magazine, one of the most prominent fashion publications, is treading a similar path with a new AR-powered issue. Done in partnership with The Mill, a visual effects production studio, the magazine’s Sept. 2017 Collector’s Issue features an interactive, computer-generated image of Katy Perry on the cover. At first glance, it seems like a traditional magazine, but that changes when parts of it come to life when viewed through the lens of a smartphone or tablet. For W Magazine, it’s about using tech to keep its print publication modern.

To make this possible, W Magazine created a companion app called Beyond the Page for iOS and Android. Once you install the application, you can point your device’s camera at various parts of the magazine, which goes on sale today, and experience an extra layer of virtual content. With the cover, for example, Perry’s face actually becomes a 3D model made up of colorful projected images. If you tap her lips or forehead, a short film pops up, wherein she delivers a message about “rebellion” while wandering the streets of Paris donned in Saint Laurent. W Magazine says the videos starring the pop star are an ode to the current political landscape, adding that the hardest part was convincing her and photographer Steven Klein that using augmented reality wouldn’t detract from the art but rather enhance it.

There are other pages in the issue that are powered by AR, but none of them are as immersive as the Perry cover. Whereas with the cover you can move around and zoom in or out of the photoreal shot, the rest are simply traditional still images that bring up videos intended to complement photo shoots. Alex Israel and Collier Schorr are two of the artists featured in the additional AR collaborations, which come in the form of a futuristic fictional piece and another designed to capture fashion’s obsession with gender fluidity. W Magazine made it easy to figure out which pages of the issue are AR compatible by adding a Beyond the Page label, which prompts readers to download the app.

While this implementation of augmented reality may seem like a gimmick, you can’t blame W Magazine for wanting to experiment with the technology. The New Yorker and Elle have made similar attempts, also with AR covers. And it makes sense: Print editors can use modern flourishes where they can find them, and technology gives them more room to be creative. According to research firm MagNet, magazines sales have fallen 53 percent since 2011, with revenues down 43 percent. To put that into perspective, roughly 353 million magazines were sold at newsstands in 2016. In other words, publishers have nothing to lose by experimenting with newfangled tech.

“What keeps W relevant is our startup mentality,” said Stefano Tonchi, the magazine’s editor in chief. “We want to make it clear that technology for us is not just an add-on to make the magazine more exciting. It’s a key part of how readers experience this collectible, luxurious object, in a way that’s highly tactile that builds on what we’ve produced in print.” As an example of its efforts with tech, he points to W being one of the first fashion magazines to create exclusive content for Snapchat. Tonchi says the idea is to make more stories available on the Beyond the Page app in the future, noting that the top priority will be to deliver a consistent narrative across issues and their AR components.

“In a world where content is more abundant than ever, and where there is a sea of sameness when it comes to fashion media,” Tonchi said, “what helps us stand out is our bold, provocative, and truly differentiated approach to putting fashion in the context of culture.” Sure, W wasn’t the first one to introduce the concept of AR in a magazine, but it’s important that it managed to convince two major pop culture artists, Perry and Klein, to play a role in an unconventional issue.

New cycling wear for summer

Ride in style with the latest apparel offering from dhb!

Summer’s the perfect time to get your cycle on, with the lovely warm and dry weather – most of the time, anyway! Whilst you’re making the most out of getting road time on your bike, why not invest in some new cycle wear to stand out and feel good?

dhb’s Blok collection offers vibrant colours and designs, with lightweight fabrics that wick mositure away from the skin to keep you cool and dry on your summer rides. The gear also carries an anti-bacterial finish to keep you fresh, ride after ride.

The jerseys have three designs, each with two colour options and feature a full-length YKK zip, zipped rear pocket and three traditional open rear pockets – the perfect blend of fun, expressive graphics and great functionality!

The range is rounded off with accessories – think arm warmers, caps and socks. Happy cycling!

Amazon’s AI could create the next must-have fashion brand

Artificial intelligence is already assisting reporters, athletes, and doctors. Soon, it could also become a regular on the catwalk. At least if Amazon has its way. The online retail giant is busy developing a number of machine learning programs that could help both the public and fashion designers seek out the next big clothing trend. Of course, it would prefer it if you purchased your next dress or jacket from its own site using an Echo — but that’s par for the course.

Among its new tech is an algorithm that learns about style from images, which it then uses to create fashion items from scratch. A basic AI fashion designer, if you will. It’s far from ready to create the next Chanel line, but it gives an indication of what Amazon is prepping. It’s not hard to envision the real world application of the program helping to boost Amazon’s in-house brands.

The team working on the software presented their findings at a recent workshop co-chaired by Amazon, reports MIT Technology Review. The event also included a slew of additional papers by academic researchers specializing in how machine learning can be applied to fashion. Others demonstrated an algorithm that can identify fashion-related social media profiles (which could prove a boon in the age of the influencer). And, a duo of Indian researchers showed off software that guesses a shopper’s correct size based on past purchases.

Notably, a group from the University of Maryland presented a “style transfer” system for clothing. Popularized by apps like Prisma — and appropriated by Facebook — the process lets you apply a painting’s style to your pics. In terms of fashion, it could allow you to create clothes in the style of other clothes. Tim Oates, the paper’s lead author, writes: “The results indicate that style transfer happens successfully and is personalized for the closet of a user.”

Some of Amazon’s experiments have already come to fruition. In April, it unveiled the Echo Look camera, which sees Alexa act as a tailored AI stylist by scanning your selfies. Ultimately, they paint a picture of a company using its machine learning prowess to conquer the world of fashion.

We reached out to Amazon for a comment, but did not immediately receive a response.