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Sports Couture: High-end collaborations

By Lina Rodriguez

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“They are known for their show-stopping catwalk looks and dressing the stars. Now, they’re taking their high-fashion looks to the gym…” Tasmine Crimmens

The collaboration of great designers with sports brands respond to the boom of trends such as co-creation and the importance of lifestyle, it is also a good platform for designers to reach a new market fragment and for brands to find a major point of differentiation from it’s competitors.

The collaborative concept, however, is not entirely new. From a production standpoint manufacturers and suppliers have been sharing resources for years, in order to offer products of best qualities and more competitive. For example H&M has collaborated since 2004 with international designers and style icons from Karl Lagerfeld to Isabel Marant, but it is only recently that this limit expands reaching sports fashion. “Collaborations have been born out of a recognition we’ve made that, although sports is our foundation, our interaction with customers doesn’t need to stop at the playfield,” says Neil Beeson Ex General Manager of the fashion sports division in Puma, one of the pioneer brands in collaboration.

A few years ago Puma opened its first store as a base point for collaborations with big names like Philippe Stark, Neil Barret and Christy Turlington, creating a multifaceted space where each design vision blend with the aesthetic and point of view of the brand.

Today we see the brand’s fragmentation translated into the sportswear offer for the clients. In the case of Adidas, the brand has in the current stock collaboration collections with Stella McCartney for woman’s clothes and Porsche Design and Yohji Yamamoto for men’s separate from the subdivisions of brand: Adidas Originals and Neo, strictly directed for lifestyle.

In it’s last campaign, Adidas has managed to take one step further to the collaborative concept involving a third part in the stage, last August the Real Madrid presented it’s new special edition shirt, manufactured by Adidas and designed by Yohji Yamamoto, in which the Japanese designer’s aesthetics is capture under a design that incorporates the symbol of the brand and highlights a concept created specially for the team Champion of the last European Champions League.

Whatever the reason is behind these collaborations: strategy, marketing or innovation, it is interesting to see the versatility in which with designers and brands, fluidity and thoroughness manage a design so that the final product reflects who is behind in an effortless way.



Adidas by Stella McCartney


Riccardo Tisci (Givenchy) for Nike


Adidas by Raf Simons (Dior)


Adidas by Rick Owens


Adidas Originals by Jeremy Scott (Moschino)


Yamamoto + Real Madrid



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