Why Balenciaga’s collaboration with adidas probably makes more sense than you realize

Back in May, when Balenciaga and adidas unexpectedly revealed that they were collaborating on a full-fledged collection, the fashion industry was completely taken aback. While the fun collaboration stuck out like a sore thumb against the business-like setting when it was displayed on a catwalk in the New York Stock Exchange, Demna Gvasalia’s idea worked flawlessly. Models dressed in glossy latex from head to toe walked the runway at an unnaturally quick pace, challenging the notions of capitalism and materialism and representing the hectic lives that the money-minded metropolitan society accepts as normal. Although it’s simple to write off this alliance as a little haphazard, there’s actually a lot more logic to it than you might realize. Balenciaga has become more divisive than ever when Demna replaced Alexander Wang as the fashion house’s creative director in 2015. Many people thought Wang’s version of the brand was a little too risk-free, but Gvasalia made the decision to entirely reverse this by incorporating elements of Vetements’ almost-satirical stylings into the brand’s collections. It was obviously divisive, with many detractors charging the Georgian fashion designer of tainting the legendary tradition of Balenciaga, but it was required to resurrect the brand.By working with one of the greatest sporting companies in the world, Demna was sending a message to the world that, while his replication of the brand was humorous, it was most definitely no joke. In the end, adidas does not just let anyone utilize its illustrious Three Stripes.

Of course, the German juggernaut has dabbled in high fashion before. Adidas and Yohji Yamamoto collaborated in 2002 to create the Y-3, a classic collection that is still in production today. The Herzogenaurach-based brand also collaborates on collections with Raf Simons and Rick Owens, and in 2016 it teamed up for many seasons with the aforementioned Alexander Wang. There is no denying that all four of these collaborations play it rather safe, despite the fact that they are each memorable in their own right. Even with adidas most recent Prada and Gucci collections, the labels chose to do the barest minimum with already well-established shapes rather than make any significant adjustments. Virgil Abloh’s 2017 Off-White x Nike “The 10” collection was a success in part because he customized ten of the most recognizable sneakers from the Swoosh. While you could still immediately identify each of the models, they were undoubtedly Abloh’s vision of them with bright red zip ties, deconstructed detailing, and plenty of Helvetica to speak about. Kim Jones’ 2020 Dior x Air Jordan 1 High could be compared to that shoe. These shoes were undoubtedly Air Jordans, but the British designer gave them an unmistakably Dior look with lavish calfskin leather and elaborate lace accents. The zipped pocket that was added to the adidas Forum was the only substantial change between Prada and Adidas, though. On the other hand, Gucci did nothing more than alter the Gazelle’s colours and patterns. These weren’t the sneakers that belonged to the relevant fashion house. You might mistakenly believe that they weren’t collaborations at all if you didn’t know any better. That is what distinguishes the Balenciaga x adidas collaboration. It was possibly because they were relatively one-sided that the collaborations with Prada and Gucci seemed that way. The canvas was provided by adidas, and everyone else only needed to imprint their brand on it. Balenciaga, on the other hand, appears to be a sincere partnership between the two businesses. Along with releasing his pre-distressed version of the Stan Smith, Demna also gave adidas permission to remodel some of his most well-liked styles, giving the Triple S a Superstar-inspired makeover and experimenting with the Speed Trainer’s sock-like form. Demna stated in a 2022 interview with GQ, “I always wanted to use the three stripes and the logo.” I’ll be completely honest with you. I had an adidas tracksuit when I was seven years old, and that was my biggest fashion accomplishment at that age.>>

A wide variety of clothing and accessories were also created by adilenciaga, in addition to the Pantashoes from their second collection, which the business has previously dubbed “that bitch.” The one-of-a-kind trouser-heel hybrid, which is destined to be a must-have item this season, has already been noticed on the feet of fashion’s cool girl Bella Hadid. Blurring the limits of normality, they are the ideal embodiment of all that Balenciaga x adidas stands for. At his Paris Fashion Week Yeezy Season 9 show in October of this year, Kanye West unveiled the notorious “White Lives Matter” T-shirt. After that, he launched into a rant in which he disparaged the Jewish community, publicly humiliated a fashion editor for Vogue on Instagram, and spoke terrible remarks against the Black Lives Matter movement. Since that time, Balenciaga and adidas have severed their relationships with him. While this is unquestionably terrible news, especially for the talented teams who put in so much effort for both projects, they don’t need Ye. They only require one another, a ton of glossy latex, and the bustling ticker of the New York Stock Exchange to function.

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