Historically, adidas Originals collaborations are second-to-none. Teaming up worldwide with names – such as Kanye West for Yeezy and London skate brand Palace – where culture, technology and innovation are the focus, this season adidas Originals brought their ongoing partnership with Japanese menswear brand White Mountaineering to Paris’s Pavillon Vendôme.
Now in its third season, White Mountaineering’s creative director Yosuke Aizawa warped the brand’s sportswear DNA by taking the tracksuit off the streets and dropping it beachside, revealing backstage that he was inspired by the ocean, resorts and islands. Juxtaposing the darker urban feel of adidas Originals, he presented the collaboration with his own collection, full of colour and bold botanical prints.
Riffing on classic sportswear silhouettes and the brand’s archive, the iconic three stripes felt futuristic and utilitarian as they were turned into symmetrical patterns and plastered over sweatpants, hooded track tops, crew sweats, t-shirts and beanies. Aizawa explained, “adidas Originals’ clothing in general looks kind of like a uniform, and White Mountaineering gives it a touch of playfulness. For example, like a marine, like an army, they have a line in their uniform, it links to the adidas Originals tribe. I mix the three lines with plants, fruits and flowers, and that gives the collection more playfulness.”
“adidas Originals is not a sports brand, it’s more a fashion brand” – Yosuke Aizawa
Clearly both Aizawa and adidas Originals know they’re onto a good thing. In what felt like an organic progression from last season, Dazed favourite Sol Goss and Louis Vuitton muse Dominik Sadoch hit the runway wearing details from AW16 – like the ‘V’ stripe. However, the most important elements of the collaboration, Aizawa revealed, are the footwear, with SS17 debuting two new NMD styles (the NMD Trail and NMD_R2) as well as EQT Support Future, all fitted with the brand’s Boost technology.
“The sneakers are the most important elements in the collaboration,” said Aizawa, “but adidas Originals is not a sports brand, it’s more a fashion brand, when you compare it to other sports brands, and I’m enjoying the possibility of exploring a sporty but fashionable collection. In the future, I (hope to do) different things rather than athletics sports, like skating or snowboarding, and try and bring in a new element to adidas Originals.”
adidas Originals by White Mountaineering SS17 will be on sale globally from January 2017 in adidas Originals flagship stores, online and in selected retailers. There will be a separate drop in March 2017