Under Demna Gvasalia, creative director at Balenciaga, the French luxury maison has been responsible for some of the hottest luxury-streetwear trends over the last few years.
The Georgian fashion designer upkept the Balenciaga aesthetic with ready to wear collections including oversized deconstructed shirts, sportswear and chunky “ugly, dad sneakers,” and couture sported by Kim Kardashian, which includes solid color body gloves, built in shoes, high shine spandex, and high glamor silver gown like the one she wore to the White House dinner in early May 2022.
Forever pushing the fashion envelope, 2021 marked the year when Demna and Gucci creative director, Alessandro Michele created the “Hacker Project.” Gucci describing it as “ideas from a hybrid universe,” it was a collaboration that was unexpected, was criticized yet lauded, was complex and forced fashion consumers to challenge their own expectations of the idea of collaboration between high end luxury labels.
Therefore, not being a stranger to a collaborative project, the most highly anticipated show on the fashion calendar took place last night in New York: the Balenciaga Spring 2023 show, revealed a major surprise: a collaboration with sportswear giant, Adidas.
This isn’t Adidas’ first rodeo when it comes to teaming up on a luxury collection either, as the label has been continually working with Prada since 2019 on their sustainable Re-nylon collections, has previously worked with Stella McCartney, Raf Simons and Yohji Yamamoto and had also revealed a collection with Gucci which is set to launch for purchase on June 7th 2022.
Where the Gucci x Adidas collaboration left many bemused, the sportswear label’s partnership with Balenciaga seems surprising yet authentic. What's interesting is the fact that despite what these unusual collaborative projects produce, they are a sure fire hit with fashion lovers and sell out extremely fast. Merging the world of high end with sportswear, makes for an approachable, relatable price point and makes for an easier entry point for younger consumers.
Vetements co-founder, and Balenciaga creative head, Demna’s Spring 2023 show saw his collaboration with Adidas storm the runway at the New York Stock Exchange and featured 63 looks and included signature glossy, skin-tight full-body fetish suits, oversized denim, evening wear, outerwear and streetwear, paired with tailoring and more.
The confirmation of an Adidas collaboration highlighted oversized jackets, football jerseys, wafty tracksuits, bags in the form of backpacks, top handle bags and duffle bags. Moreover, there was a joint logo that branded the collection in the form of Adidas’s “trefoil emblem” with a lowercase “balenciaga” placement across t-shirts or on chest panels on outerwear, as well as the three stripe placements down the sides of pants or sleeves.
With all of the ways in which high end –sportswear collaborations are happening, it goes without saying that they aren’t about functionality – but more about style and practicality.