As in 2016, these Team USA basketball uniforms feature a slightly thinner font than in previous decades, and they have a nice touch in the 50 stars incorporated into the waistbands. Both the men’s and women’s teams will have a white uniform, but the men’s alternates will be blue while the women’s will be red, as shown above.
There are a few more details in the red women’s uniform, including a laurel design in the neckline meant to recall the jerseys worn by the 1996 team, which defeated Brazil for the gold medal in Atlanta. According to Nike, six stars on each side of this year’s red jersey symbolize the 12 players on the team, and a hidden panel in the side vent of the shorts reveals the numbers 84 (for the total amount of players over the course of the federation’s history), 10 (for the total number of Olympic appearances by the U.S. women’s team) and 8 (for the gold medals win by the U.S. women).
As with previous Olympic gear, Nike says it is aiming for sustainability in its 2020 apparel, including making extensive use of recycled materials. According to the company, its U.S. medal stand jackets will be made from 100 percent recycled polyester, and other elements will incorporate recycled nylon and rubber.
“Athletes expect us to be committed in this space,” Nike’s chief sustainability officer, Noel Kinder, told CNBC. “They want [what they wear] to perform, and they expect it to be sustainable.”
For its skateboarding designs, Nike teamed up with the Dutch artist Pieter “Parra” Janssen, a former professional skateboarder. Outfits designed for the American, French and Brazilian teams will use recycled polyester and what Nike described as “pattern efficiency for minimal waste.”
“Skating has been such an individual thing, it’s all personal preference and your style, the clothing matches the style of your skating,” Sean Malto, who hopes to make the U.S. skateboarding team, told Dezeen. “So having a uniform is different, but it also is cool, that it now it is a bigger thing.”
“Nike has been working with us to try to figure out the best possible outfit to feel comfortable in to feel like we look good — and if you look good, there’s a side psychological way of performing as well,” Malto added. Referring to the exceptionally warm weather expected around Tokyo during the Games, he said, “We’re pushing ourselves to the limit, it’s a dangerous sport anyways, and then adding hot humid weather makes it a little more extreme.”
Nike designed Olympic soccer kits for Nigeria and South Korea, in addition to the United States. As with Team USA basketball, the look for soccer is fairly clean, but one big difference with previous kits, per the company, is that these will have labels of the “States,” in reference to nationality.
The soccer and track and field garments will also have eye-catching elements as athletes move. For the former, according to Nike, it will be a side stripe that appears jagged at rest but aligns when a full kicking motion is made.
The new Aeroswift material used for track and field uniforms is micro-ribbed in a way that not only purports to improve wicking, but can offer a shimmering or flickering visual effect as athletes move.
“We take great pride in designing a system of dress that not only helps athletes perform at their best,” Nike’s VP of Apparel Innovation, Janett Nichol, said, “but one that’s worthy of these athletes’ incredible achievements.”