As Nike has only joined forces with a celebrity once before in producing the iconic Jordan sub-brand, the release of NOCTA reopens the collaborative conversation while highlighting the exclusivity of the process.
The name NOCTA is a nod to Drake’s nocturnal creative process, speaking to the ethos behind the brand: Drake describes the mindset behind NOCTA as ‘an unforgiving drive [and] a relentlessness.’ Hard work and the grind are paramount, but so are loyalty and teamwork; that’s why the range features ‘a uniform look’ across the globe, uniting people through culture and attitude. Characteristic of Nike, however, is the comfort and functionality of the collection, with adaptable designs suitable for individuals on the go.
Functional streetwear is the core of the debut collection, with a puffer jacket, a hoodie, track pants, and crew socks all available in a black and gold colour palette. The classic bevelled Nike Swooshes are combined with reflective piping and NOCTA-specific branding, but the pieces remain minimalist and comfortable – a collection of everyday essentials, rather than elaborate statement pieces. The lightweight winter clothes are instant staples, particularly as winter progresses in the Northern Hemisphere.
Although Nike has not made a habit of collaborating with celebrities, it’s not very surprising that their second foray into collabs is with Drake, particularly with the rapper frequently mentioning the brand in his verses. The NOCTA sub-brand is ‘full circle’ for Drake:
[G]rowing up Nike was everything. It felt like every shoe I wanted, every athlete I liked, everything I owned was Nike. It didn’t mean anything unless it had a Swoosh.
Nike’s sponsorships of athletes over the years has cemented them as the ultimate brand in sportswear, and, although Drake is a musician rather than an athlete, the expansion of sportswear collaborations into the world of entertainment did not begin with NOCTA: Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, and Beyoncé have all worked with Adidas, with Rihanna and Big Sean at PUMA. In fact, this is not the first Nike collab for Drake, having produced a collection earlier this year, Certified Lover Boy, comprised of merch for his single ‘Laugh Now Cry Later’.
The NOCTA sub-brand is a first, however, and we can almost certainly expect future drops as part of the collaboration. As it stands, the release of the first collection today is a major shake-up of the Nike landscape, uniting the music world and the sporting world through classic, broadly functional pieces.
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Images courtesy of Nike.