Adidas is starting its engine with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The German athletic giant has signed a multiyear deal with the NASCAR driver for Dale Jr. women's, children's and men's apparel, accessories and footwear, including his future racing suit and technical footwear, plus off-track footwear and fan apparel. Earnhardt will introduce the line, which hasn't formally been named, at the February 2008 season opener in Daytona, Fla.
Adidas and Earnhardt made the announcement Friday at Daytona after Earnhardt qualified for the Bush Series. The deal follows Earnhardt's decision earlier this year to leave DEI, his father's racing team.
"I've been wearing Adidas my whole life," Earnhardt said in a statement. "I'm excited to bring Adidas into our sport, introduce them to our loyal fan base and work with them to apply their performance technologies and innovation to create cutting-edge products that will help me as a race car driver and allow me to remain true to myself."
The line retails from $20 for a T-shirt to $2,000 for a race suit. Adidas declined to make volume projections for the collection. Dale Jr. licensed products, rolling out in February, will be sold at Adidas stores and at sporting goods retailers such as Sports Authority, which has more than 400 doors nationwide. Previously, Earnhardt products had been sold at racetracks and chain stores, according to Adidas.
"We are leveraging the relationships Adidas has with those places and taking the Dale Jr. fan product distribution to a channel it's never been before," an Adidas spokeswoman said.
Earnhardt and Adidas plan to add technical features like ClimaCool, which lowers body temperature and combats athlete fatigue — which could be helpful in the extreme temperatures of the cars.
"We are really treating [Earnhardt] as an athlete, and he's bringing his expertise from inside the race car and putting his fingerprint on every product," said the Adidas spokeswoman. "NASCAR spends millions of dollars trying to improve the car, but no one pays attention to what the athlete is wearing. We see this as an opportunity to be the link between man and machine, and an opportunity to enter into a sport that hasn't had a lot of innovation in its suit."The deal with Earnhardt drives Adidas into the world of NASCAR, adding to the company's portfolio, which also includes partnerships with the NBA and NFL.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast