With its Adidas Originals line, the sporting brand continues to reinterpret its legacy. Following Jeremy Scott and the BABE label, now it’s the turn of New York designer Alexander Wang to offer up his vision with a very complete 84-piece unisex collection. Graphic lines, upside-down logos and contrasting textures exalt the Adidas classics in a splendid fusion of fashion and streetwear for a bang-on-trend urban wardrobe. Numéro caught up with Alexander Wang to have a chat about the collection…
Numéro: You grew up in the USA at a time when streetwear, skate wear and sportswear were in the throes of becoming a culture unto themselves. What does the brand Adidas mean to you?
Alexander Wang: I wore Superstars the whole time at high school. I went to a private school where you had to wear a uniform, so shoes were our only means of sartorial expression. Everyone who wore Superstars customised them, myself included: I’d spend hours scribbling all over them. I should have kept a pair for posterity! As long as I can remember I have been a fan of Adidas. Its legacy inspires a profound respect in me.
Black is a code that both Adidas and your brand have in common, was that the starting point for you?
Black corresponds above all with a sort of urban uniform and so for me if was perfectly logical to propose a first collection that was mainly that colour.
Why did you do a unisex collection?
Our era is marked by this gender fluidity, a new phenomenon that cannot be ignored. This unisex collection is simply a reflection of that aspect of the world.
You’re one of the designers revered by the millennial generation, how would you describe their interests and values?
If young people today recognise themselves in my brand, it’s because it draws inspiration from their own culture which celebrates individuality and finding oneself in little groups around shared values. What’s so fascinating with them is the very fact that their interests are so pluralistic and diverse, and that their culture is always unpredictable.
“If young people today recognise themselves in my brand, it’s because it draws inspiration from their own culture.”
Was it important to you to shoot the campaign in New York?
Yes, because the Alexander Wang brand is inspired by New York as much as it is a part of the New York landscape. Adidas is a pillar of New York street culture. The clothing black market and street vendors are a part of streetwear culture and my first Adidas Originals collection alludes to this very urban phenomenon. So New York was the perfect place to shoot the campaign with Juergen Teller.
Adidas Originals by Alexander Wang, available from February 18th.
Find our interview of Alexander Wang on the occasion of the brand’s 10-year anniversary.