Creative Soccer Culture

The Nike N98 jacket gets a tailored twist

Fusing fashion and football and taking the tracksuit in a unique direction, Nike have joined forces with Ozwald Boateng, an influential tailor from London's famed Savile Row, to re-imagine the N98 track jacket.

Originally created for the Brazil team playing in France back in the summer of 1998, the Nike N98 tracksuit was manufactured in Italy, a country whose expertise in fashion and tailoring is a source of inspiration to Ozwald Boateng. Now Boateng has reworked for the design for this special edition, exclusive to the Brazil National Team.

From sketches to the manufacturing process, Ozwald Boateng was particular about every element. "I went to the factory where the suit was made and we worked very closely with them to maintain the quality levels. We took our language and brought the worlds of football and tailoring together."

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The suit has been individually created for the hosts, with the federation logo on the chest, shoulder-to-wrist stripe and back graphic tonally executed. Using Nike technology, the suits even features laser-cut perforation in the same places as the team's jersey and sonically-welded, sealed-seam pockets.

Such is his attention to detail Boateng even obsessed about how the branding was placed "One of the things I was very particular about was how the sporting elements were executed on the tailoring cloth. It had to be really beautifully done. Even how the badge is attached and the balance with the Swoosh. That was very important."

Whilst this seems a bit random for a sportswear brand, Nike Football's Global Creative Director Martin Lotti sees a deep connection between style and performance "We're looking at an entire athlete journey. You wouldn't expect Nike to go down this route and that's what we enjoy. It's the juxtaposition of sport-meets-style and it's a merger of suit making and N98 and making our athletes as good looking off the pitch as on."


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