As Nike unveiled its Team USA Track and Field uniforms alongside ex-Oympic champions Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee last night, police stood guard for miles on Greenwich Street downtown. Turns out they were there for Obama, who was dining blocks away at Sarah Jessica Parker’s house. Still, the feeling of big-guns secrecy wasn’t entirely unwarranted. Designed for the London Olympics, Nike’s new Rocket Red track uniforms and trio of medal stand jackets seem as fit for action movie heroes as for athletes (the brand claims these uniforms are its “swiftest track apparel to date”).
“It felt like the right time to go red,” explained innovation creative director at Nike Scott Williams. “It’s very bold, and that inspiration came from talking to our athletes about what they were feeling in competition.” Joyner-Kersee, often considered the greatest female athlete in American history, said she’s never let go of that feeling—or her uniforms. “I was invited to go down to the Olympic trials in 1980, and I remember being the most excited to get my USA uniform, because it meant you were part of an exclusive club,” she told Style.com. “I still have all of my uniforms in a case, from my high school gym clothes through every Olympic Games.” Joyner-Kersee, who favors St. John and Chanel off the field, keeps her party dresses, too. “Younger athletes say, what are these for? And I say, you do well out there, you might get invited to the White House, and then you need a dress.”