The Prada x Adidas partnership is back and better than ever.
This week we see the return of a massive collaboration between luxury fashion label Prada and sportswear powerhouse Adidas. This isn’t the first time the duo have joined forces. They have created a pair of superstars with a matching bowling bag previously.
This collab is reminiscent of the Dior x Jordan 1’s we saw release a little while back, not merely down to the fact we see a luxury fashion brand take over an iconic silhouette. Both the Dior and the Prada collection have both come under fire for their unobtainable pricepoints. Both collections initially looked to be marketed directly at celebrities that could afford them instead of the everyday consumer that is responsible for the popularity of the Air Jordan 1 and Adidas Superstar respectively.
Despite the initial criticism the Dior x Jordan 1 subsequently sold out. They can now fetch upwards of £7000 today on the resale marketplace.
Can this Prada x Adidas venture demand a similar resale value after this weeks release?
We take a look at the sudden boom of luxury meets streetwear collabs, the story behind the Prada x Adidas partnership and why these aren’t just an expensive pair of retail Superstars with a Prada logo slapped on them.
Unlikely partnerships between luxury and streetwear brands
Supreme x Louis Vuitton
There has always been a link between luxury fashion and streetwear. We had never really seen the luxury brands embrace streetwear or sneaker culture. Supreme was world-famous for producing bootleg versions of their products, using major brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton’s aesthetics.
The Gucci and Burberry box logo tees are some of the brands rarest to get your hands on. For the most part, Gucci and Burberry didn’t say much about Supreme highjacking their styles. Back in 2000 though, Louis Vuitton did not react in the same way. Supreme brought out a line of boards, tees and caps donning the infamous LV monogram pattern. The french label did not appreciate this, sending the progressive skate brand a “Cease and Desist”. Supreme was ordered to burn all the products from the release. This bootleg collab is most definitely a historic moment. Possibly the first time these luxury brands took notice of streetwear’s power in fashion.
Seventeen years later, Supreme officially released a collaboration with Louis Vuitton. The relationship had gone full circle with streetwear brands finally being taken seriously for collaborative efforts with these luxurious labels. Louis Vuitton saw the opportunity to break into the scene by collaborating with Supreme. They could no longer ignore the queues that had become the norm outside of every Supreme store worldwide come Thursday.
Off-White x Nike/Jordan Brand
Around the same time as LV joined forces with Supreme, we began to see Virgil Abloh’s Off-White collaborations with Nike circulate. 2017 was a breakout year for these kinds of collaborative efforts. Sneaker collaborations were not a new idea, but what Virgil brought to the table with Off-White was different. He rummaged through the Nike archives and reimagined popular silhouettes from over the years. Deconstructing them and recreating irregular shoes that match what he does with his Off-White sneakers.
Ablohs collaborations with Nike have gone from strength to strength over the years. Any time he drops a shoe they are some of the most anticipated releases of the year. Fortunately for us all, Abloh kept the price points down and stuck with Nike and Jordan pricing. Something that other luxury brands have been criticised for when joining forces with our favourite sneaker and streetwear brands.
Fendi x Fila
Perhaps a lesser-known luxury x sportswear collab is the Fendi x Fila one we saw release in 2019. Do you think Fendi would’ve taken the jump with Fila without seeing the LV x Supreme or Off-White x Nike success?. Probably not. But the idea came about more organically than merely witnessing the success of others.
Scottish artist Hey Reilly uses his Instagram to create fashion themed mash-ups that you don’t see every day. Scroll through Hey Reilly’s Instagram. You will find Barak Obama sporting Tyler, The Creators leopard print hair. Or Justin Beiber paparazzi photos turned into Balenciaga campaigns.
Well, Reilly also created a Fendi bag featuring the iconic Fila F that is synonymous with the brand. Fendi Creative Director Silvia Venturini Fendi took notice, and the rest is collaborative history.
Dior x Jordan Brand
If you are discussing Lux x Streetwear collabs, you have to mention the legendary Dior x Jordan partnership. Releasing earlier this year, English Fashion Designer Kim Jones once again displayed his passion for streetwear. Jones was at Louis Vuitton when they joined forces with Supreme. His appreciation for the streetwear industry has always been evident.
The sneaker came under criticism for what some called a lazy design and the RRP being in the thousands. But the sneaker, for me, fits perfectly into what you expect from a luxury fashion shoe. For example, the iconic monogram Dior logo featuring across a logo equally as iconic, the swoosh. Luxury leathers and co-branding used throughout the entire design. The most iconic Jordan silhouette there is. This sneaker is precisely what we should expect to see from Jordans first collaboration with a luxury label.
Unfortunately, the cost of the shoe did make it unobtainable for the everyday collector. Pair that with the fact there was less than 10,000 made of both styles, it was virtually impossible for anybody not associated with the brands to cop a pair. But the whole idea behind this collaboration was to be the opposite of ordinary. A truly luxurious take on a classic which did break the boundaries of collaborative efforts.
Prada x Adidas Superstar Collaborations
The Prada x Adidas partnership exploded onto the scene in 2019. Prada brought their superior crafting and materials to an Adidas staple. The very first collab was to celebrate the Superstars 50th anniversary, creating a triple white Superstar with a bowling bag to match. The only combo needed to flex on everybody at the bowling alley. The release had just 700 pieces dropping exclusively in both brands boutiques.
The Prada bowling bag was a key piece in the brand’s history, similarly as is the Superstar to Adidas still today. The limited-edition set honoured the brands’ timeless silhouettes and was, of course, an instant sell-out. The items focussed on the minimalist designs that saw the brands’ success soar over the years. Both pieces came dressed entirely in white with the iconic logos perfectly contrasting in black. The elevated materials and the craftsmanship that went into these is what justifies the price tag.
This years releases
Well, after a year of feeling as if you missed out, Prada has once again joined forces with the German sportswear giants. Once again we see Prada and Adidas send the Superstar over to Italy to be devised from the finest Italian materials money can buy. This time the sneakers are coming in two classic colourways, the triple black and infamous white and black, as well as a chromed silver rendition. As Prada states, the shoe is a reinterpretation of a classic, blending innovation and artisan crafting. Fortunately to those who missed out on the first release, these will be slightly less exclusive, and you should be able to get your hands on a pair if you are trying hard enough.
The collaboration brings together sportswear tradition and introduces it to the leather-working expertise Prada have build up over the years. The combination of high-end luxury meeting high-performance sportswear is what makes this sneaker collaboration special.
So, are they worth copping?
This sneaker isn’t going to be for everybody, nor is it trying to appeal to the masses. As the hot-stamped phrase ‘Made in Italy’ sitting below the Prada logo suggests, this isn’t your ordinary Superstar.
A quality sneaker made from the finest materials known to man. The craftsmanship that has gone into the Prada x Adidas Superstar should be met with appreciation, not criticism. If the shoe isn’t something you are vibing with, at least try and admire the expertise that went into the design and creation of this sneaker.
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