It’s fatal attraction between luxury designer labels and sportswear brands, with the object of desire represented by the sneaker, as an icon of street culture. These exceptional collaborations see names of the calibre of Prada and Adidas, Dior and Nike, and Balmain and Puma, giving life to irresistible projects for fashion and non-fashion addicts alike. What however lies behind these unusual alliances? Designer labels would like to ride the sneaker’s wave of success – a genuine blockbuster over the last few seasons – and at the same time they would like to propose a direction that is more casualwear-oriented. From the other end, sportswear brands in their collaboration with celebrated high fashion brands, can now access the higher-end range of the public. Thus, the advantage is mutual.
The most recent collaboration in chronological order has seen Prada heritage merge with Adidas sports tradition: the result is the silhouette of the Stan Smith, revamped with an emphasis on craft workmanship and prestigious raw materials, with a basic and minimal look that is quite striking. Underlining this partnership is the combined logo of Prada and the Adidas shamrock. The legendary Air Jordan, rebaptized as Air Dior, is instead behind the co-lab between the French maison and Nike: this cult model mixes the streetwear spirit of the iconic sneaker with the logomania charm typical of designer labels, which here depicts the swoosh with irony. Among the proposals of the duo Balmain – Puma, standing out is the street glam aura interpreted by celebrity spokeswoman Cara Delevigne featuring a black mid retro-futuristic sneaker with golden accessories.
Especially active in the quest for collaborations par excellence is Adidas, which also cemented a collaboration with Missioni for Pulseboost running shoes with the upper featuring the classic patterns of the maison, and with Stella McCartney, who for a number of years now has designed strictly Vegan collections of apparel and shoes for the brand.