The Olympically themed fashion marriage between Opening Ceremony and Adidas is one to be sartorially happy about
As the anticipation to the London 2012 Olympic games builds, the daily (and slightly tiring) mention of the O word is leaving a bitter taste in most British individuals’ mouths. With sponsorships seemingly granted to almost all companies across the land, allowing absolutely everyone to be in on a slice of the athletic action. However, there is one creatively inspired exception – the collaboration between sportswear powerhouse Adidas Originals and New York-based, niche brand Opening Ceremony which seems very modern day, piquing the interest of the sartorially inclined.
The design conversation between the two brands began with Adidas offering Opening Ceremony a blank canvas. Utilising Adidas' back catalogue of iconic silhouettes and then merging with Opening Ceremony's chic and whimsical aesthetic, the result of the 70-line strong AW12 collection is playful and exuberant with a focus on print, shape and ‘90s styling. Sportswear has never been more desirable.
Glass talked to Adidas' creative director Dirk Schoenberger about his time with the brand since and why the Opening Ceremony collaboration is the zenith of the clear direction of this versatile sports company. What was your experience prior to working at Adidas? I have been working under my own name out of Antwerp for 12 years. In 2007 I moved back to Germany, worked three years for another German fashion brand and joined Adidas two years ago. The culture coming from an independent designer house and going through a phase with a classic ready-to-wear fashion brand is very different here at Adidas. And that's exactly why I wanted to join this brand. For me, this is one of the most modern brands in the world, re-inventing itself and extending it's reach beyond what it is known for. What does your daily work involve? As a creative director of the Sport Style division including Adidas Originals, Y-3, Porsche Design, Neo, and SLVR, I make sure that these collections, in all their diversity, nevertheless continue to radiate the Adidas spirit. With regard to this, I can put my experience as a designer of my own label to good use. It’s true that there is a big difference between running a small-scale fashion house and working for a company such as Adidas, but the basic principles are the same. I have always considered it important to remain faithful to a single clear vision, and I also started work here with that philosophy in mind. What music do you listen to at Adidas HQ? Terranova’s new album Hotel Amour and Dexys Midnight Runners' Searching For The Young Soul Rebels.
What is the future vision of the Adidas brand? The company is expanding its boundaries and also dares to think outside the box. For example, we work with progressive designers such as Jeremy Scott and Yohji Yamamoto, surprising choices nevertheless for a sports brand. I am hugely attracted by the dynamics in the company. Adidas has been in existence for a very long time, but remains a young brand by constantly keeping abreast of what young people want.
How important is it to be seen as “fashionable” for a sportswear brand? Of course the focus of Adidas is the performance-sports theme and we also implement this in the lifestyle brands of Adidas I’m responsible for. But at the moment it gets obvious that sportswear is becoming a fashionable part of the wardrobe and so the focus is very much on the Sport Style brands. We can already see young people wearing a mix of casual clothing and modern classics. Sneakers will always be a part of youth-culture of all ages. that's never going to change. but we are working on evolving in some of our labels and brands to modernize this look beyond what we are known for and beyond our heritage. That, besides the amazing new technologies and concepts in our performance/athlete division keeps the brand fresh, innovative and ahead of competition. I think it’s becoming more about interesting style combinations which fits the concept of Y-3, Neo, SLVR, Porsche Design and Adidas Originals. Why Opening Ceremony? Adidas Originals has a long history with working with some of the best artists, brands and designers in their field. What attracted us to Opening Ceremony in the first place was their way of supporting upcoming talent as well as their design philosophy for their in-house collection. The idea of Opening Ceremony re-creating Adidas Originals products with their creative sensibility in mind was something that intrigued us. Once we delved deeper, we discovered Opening Ceremony’s close ties to the idea of the Olympics, and with London coming up this year, it was just the perfect fit.
by Calvin Baillie
Opening Ceremony and Adidas Originals Collaborative collection launches at the Opening Ceremony pop up store in London's Covent Garden on July 19.