Sportswear giant, Nike, has released its first-ever sportswear collection for women in all stages of pregnancy and post-birth. This is in response to the backlash it received in 2019 from some of its sponsored athletes who had complained of the lack of available maternity wear for sportswomen.
Called Nike (M), the new capsule collection comprises four essential pieces for expecting and postpartum mothers, including a pullover which is designed to be breastfeeding-friendly with an open flap that provides the perfect cover for pumping or nursing, plus a rare luxury in workout gear: pockets; a wrap-style sports bra with an adjustable band, sweat-wicking materials and an inside panel that can accommodate a nursing pump; a tank top that stretches to fit the body regardless of its shape, and a pair of ultra-stretchy high-waist leggings that can be worn below the bump or raised up to cover it.
Each piece in the Nike (M) collection is designed to expand and contract with a woman’s body throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period. Data from more than 150,000 body scans of non-pregnant women contrasted with pregnant women helped the Nike design team understand exactly how the body grows and changes. That alone was a game-changer for pro-golfer, Michelle Wie West, “You don’t have to try on outfits and be like, ‘Oh, is this a medium, does it fit me? Oh no, I have to wear a size large.’ Maybe it’s dumb, but I don’t like the feeling of not being able to fit in my clothes, not feeling like myself,” she says. “Having something that I know is the same size that I was before, mentally, that really helped me feel like myself.”
The four-piece collection, which drops September 17, was designed in collaboration with 30 pregnant and postpartum athletes—including Perri Edwards and Wie West—to put the perspective of pregnant women front and centre. “We truly put the same force and power behind this collection that we put behind any of our other big sporting moments,” says Carmen Zolman, senior design director of apparel innovation at Nike and the driving force behind Nike (M). “This is the full power of Nike on an equal playing field. We’re just going to keep listening and learning and chipping away at all of those barriers that keep women from being active and leading and excelling at sport.”