If you were trying to make a sports/high fashion collaboration from any two brands in the world, could you get much bigger than Adidas and Gucci? Arguably the two biggest names in their respective fields, the German sportswear powerhouse and the Italian high-end icon have combined forces for a special collection, which was revealed for the first time at the latter’s Fall/Winter 2022 runway show in Milan recently.
“Exquisite Gucci” is a prime example of the industry-blending places that major fashion labels have been able to reach in recent years, an audacious re-imaging of the barriers of ‘luxury’ fashion. The collection looks to repurpose Adidias’ signature sportswear style, emboldening its classic bold, stripped back two or three tone colour schemes and basic ‘three stripe’ patterns on a range of extravagant formal garments. The collection takes a distinctly retro approach, with furs, velvet blazers, pencil skirts and other 1980’s fashion fixtures a focal point.
The aforementioned runway show which introduced the eclectic collection employed an interesting visual gimmick, using ‘magic mirrors’ to distort the projection of the models as they walked the runway, a decision that Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele explained as a metaphor intended to “approach the phantasmagorical power of fashion… I celebrate the clothes as real optical labs: magical machines that can give birth to fairy tales of metamorphosis and re-enchantment.” That sounds like a very fancy way of saying not a lot, but the theme of metamorphosis fits with the way Adidas and Gucci have managed to redefine boundaries of luxury fashion with the meshing of their aesthetics here in the Exquisite Gucci collection.
While on the surface it might not seem like a match made in heaven, the collection blends the two ethos quite seamlessly, all the way down to the weirdly familiar GUCCI label under the iconic Adidas throwback logo. It’s hardly the first ambitious high-profile brand crossover we’ve seen in the past few years (Adidas made its own foray into the world of luxury fashion when they collaborated with Prada on a collection in December last year), but the sheer weight of the two names involved here might indicate that we’re only scratching the surface of what might be coming in the near future. Safe to say, the parameters of what defines high-end luxury fashion have never been more flexible.