Nike Has Launched Nike M, Their First-Ever Maternity Collection
It’s no secret that fitness companies need to do better by female athletes and support them as they become moms. Nike is attempting to take a step in the right direction with the launch of Nike M, the brand’s first ever maternity collection.
The collection includes four pieces, a bra, tank top, cardigan and tights—all made with stretchy fabric that will mold to a woman’s changing body during pregnancy. The launch comes a year after Nike faced allegations of discriminating against pregnant athletes. In May 2019, Olympic runner Alysia Montaño appeared in a video op-ed for The New York Times, in which she disclosed her fight with Nike to keep her paycheck as a pregnant athlete.
While in recent years the brand has tried to diversify their offerings with a sports hijab and plus-size line, according to Fast Company, Nike M has been in the works for three years.
The project was led by Carmen Zolman, Nike senior design director for Apparel Innovation, along with moms and moms-to-be. They looked at data from over 150,00 body scans from women around the world to understand how the body changes during pregnancy. They also asked 30 professional and nonprofessional athletes about their pregnancy and postpartum needs, as well as tested 70 different fabrics.
“Our goal was to create clothes that support women as they stay active through their pregnancy, but that they would want to wear these pieces long after their delivery date,” Zolman told Fast Company.
The collection is designed with motherhood in mind. For example, the cardigan has a split seam to accommodate a growing belly during pregnancy, but can be reversed for easy nursing during postpartum. The tops all include features for easy nursing and pumping, as well as “stealth evaporation fabric,” which helps reduce milk stains.
“The more we listened to expecting mothers and postpartum mothers, the more we learned, reworked and innovated through inclusive design," Zolman said in a statement. “There are so many reasons that make sticking to sport difficult through pregnancy and motherhood, but we see this chapter as anything but a stopgap in a woman’s journey through sport.”
The collection will range from $45 to $80 and be available to shop on Nike’s website starting September 18.