The emblematic visual signatures of Gucci and Adidas are recognised the world over – often copied, but entirely their own. This past February in Milan, as part of Alessandro Michele’s A/W22 offering for Gucci, the two mega-brands united on the runway to create a blockbuster capsule that traverses sportswear and high
Symbolic of the capsule is an amalgam of Gucci’s serif logo and the Adidas ‘trefoil’, adorning a typically eclectic mix of mashed-up looks – from classic silk scarves, blazers and polo shirts to requisite sweatpants, caps and sneakers. In particular, a riff on the Adidas Gazelle – a sneaker first created in 1966 for both track and soccer field – encapsulates the collaboration’s retro-inflected mood, recalling the louche sportswear of the 1960s and 1970s, eras to which Michele has long been drawn. Arriving in various hues and fabrications, they are brought together by a distinct sole, imprinted with the Gucci monogram and Adidas trefoil at once.
Adidas x Gucci was first revealed as part of a wider A/W22 collection titled ‘Exquisite Gucci’, in reference to cadavre exquis (‘exquisite corpse’), a French parlour game (these runway pieces will arrive as a second drop in September). Beloved by the artists of the Surrealist movement, each player secretly adds a word or image to a folded piece of paper – when unfurled, the various disparate parts combine to make something strange, and new. Comparisons can be made with Michele’s own magpie-like eye, which spans centuries and continents, combining elements in ways which are always unexpected.
‘[I] juxtapose worlds and meanings, altering the spirit of perception,’ he says. ‘Through these interventions, I celebrate clothes as real optical labs: magical machines that can give birth to fairytales of metamorphosis and enchantment.’ §