Gear For Those Who Run Against The Tide-------
Smart, functional design has always been at the heart of Jun Takahashi’s Undercover label. He’s a guy who looks up to industrial designers as much as fashion ones—he wears a leather watch emblazoned with Dieter Rams’ mantra “Less but better,” after all—and has long experimented with technical materials and function-first dressing. (He once shot a lookbook in a subzero Japanese forest to prove that his winter outerwear would keep even the skinniest model warm—and it did.)
Takahashi’s recent interest in running was reflected in collections as far back as Spring ’10, but he’s now taking the hobby even farther, partnering with Nike to create a collection of runner’s gear. (That’s him modeling it above, with his runners’ club, Gyakusou, from the Japanese for “run the wrong way,” thanks to the preference for heading counterclockwise around the city’s parks. The club also lent the collection its name.) The collection includes light jackets, rip-stop and stretch pants, Dri-Fit shirting, and sneakers, with details like a sleeve window to check your watch and pockets designed to keep keys and coins from jingling. Those are functional improvements you’ll notice if you run, like Takahashi does, up to 13 kilometers every other day. Then there are the purely aesthetic ones, like red piping tracing the body’s artery vein—one functional accessory paying tribute to another.
Keep reading to see Jamie Morgan’s stop-motion video of Takahashi and the Gyakusou club running in Tokyo.