ACG means All Conditions Gear and all conditions means all conditions. It’s the self-explanatory tagline for Nike’s All Conditions Gear range. Originally, the phrase was encouragement for fitness practitioners to shed the indoor confines of exercise, like treadmill running, stationary biking and aerobics studios, and explore the outdoors. The original impulse driving ACG was to bring the cutting edge, youthful style that took Nike from a niche running company to global pop cultural icon status, to the extremely specialized world of functional outdoors gear. Introducing modern, technical fabrics, and the bold aesthetic of the late 1980s to a field that had barely seen any updates since Grizzly Adams, was nothing short of revolutionary. The visual novelty and bold design made early ACG silhouettes like the Son of Lava Dome/Lava High, Wildwood, Air Mowabb a hit with the new breed of outdoor adventurers and instant classics in the sneaker collecting subculture.
While new products continued to be launched under the ACG banner into the 21st century, the early ACG collections developed a serious cult following in streetwear circles. When Nike relaunched the ACG range in 2014, with a renewed focus on the late 80s/early 90s designs, there was general rejoicing throughout the sneaker world, but something was lost in all those years of fashion icon status, the all conditions means all conditions mantra. Scarcity led people to treat ACG pieces like collector’s items, and as a general rule, people don’t take collector’s items out into the woods and splash them with mud.
After Nike’s full-fledged reintroduction of the ACG range introduced many of these classic styles to new audiences; the latest ACG collection sets out for new territory. The heritage influences in the Spring/Summer ’19 ACG collection are filtered through a decidedly contemporary outlook in terms of materials and tailoring. Centered around the notion of searching for something, the lack of a defined style roadmap exhorts the wearer to acts of spontaneity and adventure, with the full confidence in the functional performance qualities that distinguish ACG from everything else.