I’ve wanted to share this awesome experience for a while now, but it’s been embargoed… until now! Earlier this year I was whisked away to visit the Adidas global HQ in Germany with 5 other bloggers from around the world, to view the upcoming ss15 collection, to style my favourite pieces and participate in a photoshoot featuring the clothes. Click MORE to get my insight into this fabulous head office, and see some of the clothes that will grace their stores in time for the next bout of warm weather!
This post will be split into 4 sections; 1) The HQ Mega-Campus, 2) The Company’s Design Collaborations, 3) The Design Team’s Inspiration and 4) Some cheeky shots of me having styled a couple of outfits :D… Straight to it then:
1) THE HQ MEGA-CAMPUS:
The head offices are based where the brand was originally founded by Adi Dassler (I’m pictured with his bronze brother, below) some 90 years ago, in his home town of Herzogenaurach, Germany. That was our base for the few days. The grounds are vast – 346 acres vast – and accommodate a full complement of 3,800 staff, who get to enjoy regular visits from sporting legends such as Lionel Messi, David Beckham and the New Zealand All-Blacks rugby team -super cool! The campus is split into numerous zones – the design house, the marketing department (‘Brand Centre’), the playing fields, the stadium, the playing courts, the show room etc – they’ve got a zone for everything! Architecturally, the aesthetic is ultra-modern, with high ceilings, abundant glass walls, angular functional designs and gorgeous vistas over rolling green fields. Employees are encouraged to use the phenomenal gym, train in the grounds and eat healthy organic foods served in the gorgeous canteens. The entire place evokes a sense of healthy lifestyle and is really quite inspirational – it almost feels like a game as opposed to a workplace!
2) THE DESIGN COLLABORATIONS
Adidas is a truly world class fitness and lifestyle brand, and they seem excited to exhibit their product journeys in an almost museum-like way; it was an immense privilege to have been offered such an insight into their inner workings. Throughout the trip, a considerable emphasis was placed upon the authenticity and heritage of their historic collaborations, so I thought I’d share the intel, which I found fascinating…
The company was formed in 1924 and their emblematic ‘3 stripes’ have been worn by countless athletes since. David Beckham has had his foot 3D mapped here, as well as musicians fronting campaigns including Missy Elliot, Rita Ora, Pharell, Kanye and lets not forget the hip hop era when RUN DMC had everyone literally raise up their Adidas with the tune ‘My Adidas‘. The company was also one of the first to engage in a large-scale collaboration with a significant fashion designer – Stella McCartney – creating truly iconic sports luxe pieces. Stella designed the whole team range for Great Britain at the Olympic games in 2012; a successful collaboration fusing functionality and style; the collaboration is celebrating 10 years (started in 05).
Then there’s the Y3 range which was created with Yohji Yamamoto in 2003, who at the time was unique in wanting to create a shoe together with Adidas, which turned into an immediate runaway success! Jeremy Scott, one of their most celebrated collaborations, created the infamous Torero jacket. His eponymous wings shoes, a true style statement, are regularly seen both in and outside of the gym environment (in my view, the successful test of a true crossover collaboration).
There are of course certain heritage points in history that one tends to associate with Adidas – hip hop especially with the Originals collection – but the collaborations they’re doing now are bringing that image up to date. The three stripes (originally made for stabilisation of the shoe) are identifiable but also visible to a sporting crowd, and have come a long way. The most recent collaboration with Pharell and Kanye pushes the boundaries yet further, fusing fitness, fashion and contemporary culture ever more. There’s growing focus on the women’s collection too, from a functional and fashion perspective, and it all feels far more relevant and considered these days. I was also delighted to find how much emphasis is put into sustainability and the environment (but thats for another post perhaps).
3) THE DESIGN TEAM – INSPIRATION
Meeting the design team was a fabulous experience. A full 5 months before the products ever go on sale, the entire ss15 collection is fully completed and ready to be styled! The team walked us through the design process from inception as a mere idea, through scale production, to the point where you walk into the shop and think ‘wow, this all makes sense’!
To start with, a trend team worldwide looks at how global trends are forming & developing (I was super-flattered that little old me made it onto their mood board for the ss15 collection, as per the above shot – the designers hadn’t realised it was me 😀 ) for each sport individually, and cross references that with how the consumer is behaving. The design directors then filter this information into what is relevant for Adidas as a brand. The inspiration for the ss15 collection overall was ‘organisation’, as they found that consumers seem to be moving more into cities; to solve for that, they wanted to imbue an urban skew to the collection.
In that ‘conceptual, designer-type of way’, the team talked about seeing the ‘city in movement’, to make the collection dynamic, and giving it motion, with a twist. They reference the need for the end product to be uniform, so that when the consumer walks into the store, it should look like theres a story being told.
Print is their way of tying all this together in colour. The colour story for the ss15 is ‘night flash’; which is basically accented ‘pops’ of saturation all over the place, in combination with a neon glow orange. Monochrome remains a mainstay, as do dynamic prints, and everything that is still functional and performance focused. Materials are selected bearing in mind four main things; i) functionality/performance, ii) fashion, iii) staying with the story and iv) sustainability.
There are many more images to follow from my friends at Adidas – I’m really looking forward to seeing the main shots from the pro photoshoot and seeing the products hit the stores! Hope you enjoyed the little insight into their fitness universe 😀 Happy new year, and may 2015 be the healthiest yet! Faya x
FYI – these were my fabulous blogger compatriots for the occasion. We had Natalia (Trendy Taste) from Spain, Fay (Beautiful Active Life) from Singapore, Linda (Linderella) from Munich, Ally (Substance) from Australia and Alex (Fashercise) from London – a proper global blogger representation, and all with some superb sites! 😀
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