Collaborations are often a shrewd exercise in merging brand signifiers to produce desirable hybrids that tempt consumers. But not all collaborations are created equal. In some cases, such experiments have produced new specimens born of genuine creative affinities.
That seems to be the case with Alessandro Michele’s adventures in the sometimes slippery terrain of label partnerships. Pivoting on the idea of metamorphosis that permeates all of his work, he has mastered a series of spectacular crossovers (he hesitates to call them collaborations) with other creatives, such as the now famous Hacking Project with Demna’s Balenciaga for fall/ winter 2021. As the Latin saying goes, repeating is good, and in her Exquisite Gucci Fall/Winter 2022 show, Michele focused on Adidas, a mega brand whose imagery is rich in personal and sentimental memories not only for the creator, but also for a young (and not so young) demographic.
An avid collector of Adidas Gazelle sneakers, Michele is a long-time fan of the brand. Its sporty retro glamor resonates with its sense of the past, so the marriage between Gucci and Adidas seems to be the result of a natural creative ease. Launched at their Milan show last September, the (surely aware) couple will land in stores and online on June 7 with the first drop of a full-fledged ready-to-wear collection, in which Adidas codes have been added. been painstakingly Gucci-fied. , while those of Gucci were also crossed with the iconic symbols of Adidas.
Shot by photographer Carlijn Jacobs and inspired by the patina of archival fashion catalogs, the lookbook images are a clear indicator of the collection’s ubiquitous retro chic spirit, tinged with Michele’s flair for whimsical and trippy references. The Adidas tracksuit – a sporty take on the traditional men’s suit, if you will – served as the high-end staple of the collection, and was deconstructed and reassembled in a plethora of separate iterations, sporting the recoded emblems of Adidas and Gucci.
The interlocking logo play has spread brilliantly throughout the women’s and men’s collections, which exude a fluid, dressed-up athletic vibe. The Adidas three stripes and the green-red-green Gucci canvas, which look very similar, appear as simultaneous appliqués on the sides of joggers, zip-up sweatshirts, shorts, bell bottoms and pencil skirts , while Adidas’ lotus-shaped trefoil, first used in 1972, got the Michele treatment, puffed up in colorful, wallpaper-like renditions on oversized anoraks and svelte belted jackets.
Michele’s beloved Gazelles were also gucciified, with interlaced GG lettering. Clogs, poolside platforms and cone-heeled pumps were branded with the monograms of both labels. On the luggage, the trefoil was joined by the Gucci logo spelled backwards, while the shoulder bag and tote featured an all-over trefoil print. From umbrellas to headbands to golf bags, no surface has escaped the hybridization exercise. Looking at the vast collection, one can’t help but think that not only will it be catnip for the Gucci/Adidas fanbase, but Michele and the Adidas team must have had some fun twirling around. and touring through the extensive branded repertoires of both brands.
The first drop of the collection will be available on gucci.com
Creative Director: Alessandro Michele
Artistic Director: Christopher Simmonds
Photographer: Carlijin Jacobs