Finally, a high-end sneaker collaboration from adidas


After launching collaborations with Prada and Gucci over the past few years, adidas have been making inroads into the world of high fashion for quite some time. As an experiment, it’s been hit or miss, with some efforts well-received and others not so much at all. In almost every case, though, it’s fair to say that when it comes to shoes, they’ve largely missed the mark.

An upcoming – but as yet unconfirmed – collaboration with Balenciaga could change that.

To back up a bit and be fair to adidas, there were some highlights in their work with both Italian houses. The clothing line that forms the core of Guccidas (or adigucci, as we’ve coined it internally) is truly quite stunning – subtly integrated and delivered with a sense of both brand identities fully intact. The Pradidas Re-nylon Forum, too, has almost made up for the many sins of the previous joint efforts of these two labels.

Alas, the Luna Rossa can’t be overlooked so easily, and this year’s Gucci link shoe offerings just aren’t what they could have been. There’s no outrageous colorway or exotic material that can turn a co-branded gum-soled Gazelle into a marvel. Or, if there is, they haven’t found it with this collection.

It was starting to look like, for some reason, adidas just wasn’t able to convert its own footwear prowess into the result of their joint efforts in the same way that Nike had managed to gain so much acclaim from Dior and Louis. Vuitton.

If an apparent mid-March leak purporting to show an adidas x Balenciaga Triple-S is to be believed, however, it looks like the German sportswear giant may have found a way to break the collaborative curse.

It’s not that the shoe itself is all that spectacular as a singular item – assuming the images we’ve seen so far are true, what we’re looking at is a co-branded version of the signature sneaker. by Balenciaga: a silhouette with a singular Triple-S structure and the unmistakable inclusion of the Three Stripes on the upper and, more subtly, the laces. The collaboration is monochromatic, understated and – because, rather than in spite of all these things – pretty much perfect.

Seeking to create an edgy sneaker with high fashion credentials, adidas found an ideal partner in Balenciaga. It’s not because Alessandro Michele, Raf Simons or Miuccia Prada lack creative imagination – that goes without saying, and the proof is readily available in Gucci’s and Prada’s own collections – although, perhaps, Demna is a visionary of a different, more contemporary genre. Instead, it has more to do with a common mentality: when it comes to Balenciaga and adidas, there’s no disparity in each brand’s esteem for sneakers as an art form. .

For Demna and her colleagues, sneakers are to be coveted on the same level as tailoring, outerwear and more traditional high-end accessories such as bags. It is a respect that goes well beyond philosophy and into the practical rendering of the Parisian house. Balenciaga’s efforts in recent years to push the medium forward, starting with the now-iconic Triple-S and moving on to silhouettes such as the truly ingenious Defender, Runner and X-Pander, are impossible to ignore.

At Balenciaga, sneakers are a world apart. A universe to be explored in depth, with rules to be tested, bent and finally broken in search of new aesthetic forms. Here, Demna is a kid in a candy store — unafraid to show wonder, joy, and even a sense of idealistic naivety when it comes to what’s possible. It’s a much-needed mindset in the high fashion industry, which has already deigned over the past decade to associate itself with streetwear and athletics, is still on pause at the final frontier – fear of cross the Rubicon sneaker while Demna and Co. have the time of their lives on the opposite bank.

It is also an ideal base to build a partnership with a brand whose main activity is footwear. A brand like adidas, which has proudly made sneakers the core of its business for nearly three-quarters of a century, needs an associate who can match their own drive, desire and tangible passion for the future of footwear. athletic style. And, as an innovator in its own right, Balenciaga is exactly that.

Yes, a new Triple-S is an event in itself. But more than that, an adidas x Balenciaga Triple-S is exciting because of what it represents: the possibilities of a partnership made in sneaker heaven.

Lyrics by Karl Thomas Smith

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