MEC x Santoni for Juventus Shanghai Academy


From field to city, football apparel is more than just a uniform on the pitch with MEC.

Materials Experience Center is no stranger to activewear nor the professional athlete world. In the past, MEC’s Creative Director and co-founders of Studio Eva x Carola, Eva de Laat and Carola Leegwater and the team have worked alongside Nike, as well as with Lenzing and Woolmark for seamless yoga and cycling collections. Their latest venture for athleticwear? Juventus Shanghai Academy. The renowned football club is famous worldwide for their skill, victories, and discipline. They welcome fans and aspiring athletes to not only support the team in stadiums or from the comfort of their home but to also join their academy and improve in the world’s most famous sport like a pro. To do so, these young sport aficionados rely heavily on what they wear. 

At MEC, they’re highly familiar with activewear and the desired performance features needed depending on the sport or extracurricular activity. This attire should move with the wearer and should be made of a material that properly breathes, controls perspiration, compresses where needed, and most importantly — is lightweight. Therefore, the experts at MEC alongside Santoni tech engineers decided on a collection that ecompasses Juventus-class attitude through visual design, physical feel, and in-action experience.

This Juventus seamless collection consists of four pieces: a jersey, zipped hoodie, a pair of shorts and socks. The aesthetic inspiration for these come from the busy urban Shanghai vibe and its high contrast between city and nature. By transferring this concept onto training gear, the sleek and classy design shows off the football club’s west to east impact. MEC’s team narrowed down on making this collection with monochrome colors and a splash of gold — as this is a common hue that stands out when driving past temples and other city staples.

In order to truly capture Juventus’ identity as the biggest and top youth football academy, the MEC team, powered by Santoni technology, managed to convey this message via training attire; one of a kind.

Graphic direction for this activewear was planned to embody elements of Chinese culture whilst still including Juventus’ mascot, the zebra. In addition, stripes and fade-outs for the design were decided on so these would give a feeling of speed, comfort, and confidence. These elements were chosen to emphasize the west to east influence of the team and a field to city approach.

As for the structure direction of this athleticwear material; strong and textured fabric with breathable intricate patterns for mesh ventilation, were at the top of the list to achieve an enhanced athlete’s experience. After all, the ultimate goal for this collaboration was to empower athletes with confidence and technical capability when training and playing.

For the Juventus jersey, MEC prioritized the following performance features: lightweight, moisture-wicking, flexible fabric suitable for any weather condition. Meanwhile, the shorts were designed like a regular loose sports pair rather than as compression tights. These classic black shorts were developed with an enhanced shape for motion and zoned engineered fabric placements to give breathability and support where needed. The pair of socks on the other hand, are made of a fabric with a bit of compression and medium in thickness to keep them breathable. As we know, athletes train and play for a continuous amount of time, at least twice a week. Having a pair of socks that helps regulate comfort, heat, and perspiration is important since footballers’ feet, in this case, are always on the go. Last for this collection: the zipped hoodie, was made on the lighter end to be suitable for wearing in all seasons — encompassing properties of: enhanced fit, room for full range of motion and ideal for warm up or cool down post-game. The main purpose of this piece is for casual athleisure and not for playing in, therefore, performance functionality wasn’t the ultimate goal, instead it was the comfort and aesthetic look of the material.

Overall the Juventus Academy Shanghai seamless collection embodies a balanced and necessary combination of lightweight, breathable, moisture managing and anti-abrasion attributes. Additionally, this attire set is strong and long lasting with a diverse range of customization possibilities. It’s important to highlight that the MEC team and Santoni engineers, found a way to include the Juventus logo and jersey number with name lettering, on the clothing — that’s right, seamlessly assembled while the garments were being made. This all-in-one production is game changing as it avoids the pieces from moving on to a next stage for final detailing and finishing, ideal for personalization.

This partnership collection resulted in a classic black and white zebra fade-out look — it’s bold, iconic, and powerful; who Juventus as a team continues to be. For MEC, exploring and creating new materials to enhance the end-user is exactly what they’re there for. Though it is another sports collaboration under their belt, it is also another step towards providing an alternate and better solution to what we’re used to as consumers; in this case up and coming athletes. It’s safe to say that the Materials Experience Center is always open to work on long term solutions even within a small collection of classic essentials for diverse applications. In this instance, football apparel has proved to be more than just a uniform on the pitch.

Silk, Sleepwear, and Sustainability, Oh My!


How can we take advantage of the boom in sleepwear while keeping it sustainable?

Believe it or not, we spend about one third of our lives in bed. Whether sleeping, reading, or just chilling – a lot of our time is spent under our cozy covers. Sleep is known to stimulate better mental health and promote happiness, making it a key factor in self-care. That being said, we still frequently take for granted how important it is to create the perfect conditions for sleep. Not only is it important to keep in mind the fabric of the materials we are sleeping on, we should also be paying attention to what materials we are sleeping in. Breathable and hypoallergenic fabrics are ideal for us to go to sleep in. With more and more companies making the switch to hybrid or fully remote work, it comes as no surprise that people are spending increased time at home and, by extension, their beds. Market data shows that fast fashion brands are beginning to take an interest in sleepwear as well as loungewear and the market is projected to have some serious growth over the next two years. However, with fast fashion often comes unsustainable practices. Is it possible to take advantage of this boom while remaining as sustainable as possible?

Tencel, Studio Eva x Carola, MEC

It goes without saying that the past two years have shifted the way the average person works. More people have worked from home in the last couple of years than ever before due to the onset of Covid-19. Now, two years later, many employers are leaning into the fully remote workplace and giving employees the opportunity to work from home. Unsurprisingly, this has led to an uptick in demand for sleepwear and loungewear. As things continue in this vein, the trend in demand for at-home wear is expected to continue. Recent projections show that the sleepwear and loungewear markets are expected to grow by nearly $20B USD by 2024. Major fast fashion retailers are taking note and starting to invest a greater amount of sleepwear, increasing their inventory to include more variety as well. In the Style, a retailer from the UK, had a noticeable spike in their assortment of sleepwear which accounted for only 0.2% of their inventory in 2019 and jumped to 5.4% in 2021.

Now that we know the importance of what we wear when we go to sleep – what exactly should we be wearing when we go to bed? First we’ll take a look at what qualities we should be mindful of when trying to achieve optimal sleep. One key factor in your choice of fabric should be breathability – no one wants to wake up with their pajamas clinging to them, drenched in sweat. Another thing to pay attention to is the texture of your chosen material. You’ll want to go for something that is smooth, soft, and delicate on your skin. For special cases like those with sensitive skin, or who have asthma or allergies, you might have one more thing to consider when choosing your loungewear – is it hypoallergenic? These are just a few factors to think about when picking your perfect sleepwear. The 6 to 6 Collection, a collaboration between Tencel and Studio Eva x Carola, is a collection that takes into account these important considerations. Each piece in the collection is carefully crafted to meet the needs of the wearer from 6pm-6am. Designed in three phases, it includes sleepwear, bedding, activewear, and footwear that deliver important benefits to the wearer before, during, and after sleep. Phase One (Before Sleep) primarily focuses on themes of restoration, wholeness, and mindfulness. It has a sophisticated look and feel and features loose layering for comfort and multi-functionality. Phase Two (During Sleep) revolves around intention, awareness, beauty, and the feeling of being at home. It has a soft use of colour and muted tones to generate a calming effect. Phase Three (After Sleep) is made up of activewear, featuring ventilation designed into the fabric of the garments.

Tencel, Studio Eva x Carola, MEC

We’ve written previously about how fast fashion often leads to unsustainable practices. So does this mean that the interest of these large retailers in loungewear and sleepwear will spell out doom for our planet? Not necessarily. As it turns out, companies are taking a larger interest in sustainable manufacturing as well as investing in materials that have minimal environmental impact. For example, Victoria Secret’s Modal Sleepwear line is crafted with fibers extracted from naturally occurring beechwood in an environmentally responsible process. We know you must be thinking wood? Now that can’t be comfortable. But on the contrary, the resulting fabric is delicate and soft, just as sleepwear should be. Other common loungewear fabrics like wool and silk are 100% biodegradable as they are organic materials, so we can rest assured they won’t have a lasting impact on mother nature. As companies follow the sleepwear trend, it seems like they will take the sustainable route to manufacturing, which is good news for our planet. MEC aims to produce materials as sustainably as possible. And in addition to sustainability, we also focus on durability. Our seamless technology specializes in crafting long-lasting materials that are also lightweight. When you consider how sleep and loungewear are typically used daily and preferred to be lightweight and breathable, this makes seamless technology the obvious choice to use.

Tencel, Studio Eva x Carola, MEC

Following what has been a crazy couple of years, the future of fashion seems to be trending towards relaxation and comfort. The rise of importance of self-care has also led to us learning more about what kinds of materials we should be putting on our body to ensure prime sleep. Fortunately for the Earth, many of the best fabrics for us to lounge in are also eco-friendly, meaning added sustainability in our everyday wear. With the investment in sustainable manufacturing for loungewear, it stands to reason those other types of apparel will similarly see an increase in sustainability as well which is a boon for the environment.

Let us know if you would like to learn more about the collaboration

Seamless Merino Wool Cycling Kit


Discover the new prototype collection of women’s cycling garments that illustrate the full potential of Merino wool technical seamless performance apparel.

When combined with the latest technological advancements in yarn development and knitting technology, Merino wool provides garments with superior comfort, durability and performance for the modern cyclist.

Innovative knitwear designer studio Studio Eva x Carola designed the collection with Südwolle Group Merino wool yarns knitted on a Santoni knitting machine.

The fabrics in the collection utilise Merino wool’s superior softness, breathability, moisture management, elasticity and odour resistance.

Seamless cycling collection for women

The collection comprises a Merino wool cycling bib, jersey, arm-warmers and socks, that together create a complete, layered kit for ultimate cycling performance.

Learn more and see the full collection at Woolmark