LEIPZIG, Germany — What Yohji Yamamoto did for active fashion and Stella McCartney did for women’s performance, Adidas and Porsche Design are hoping to jointly achieve for luxury high-performance activewear for men.
In a preview of the new cobranded Porsche Design Sport collection at the futuristic Porsche Event Center here, Erich Stamminger, chief executive officer of the Adidas brand, said, “We were looking for a new opportunity to develop a new segment that combines luxury, design and sports performance for men.”
Since consolidating its non-automotive design business in 2003 under PLH — Porsche Lizenz-und Handelsgesellschaft — Porsche Design has been expanding its palette of engineered luxury products for men. “It was clear that sports apparel was a natural extension for Porsche Design, and for this there was only one dream team partner possible: Adidas,” said Sigmund Rudigier, ceo of Porsche Design.
The 130-piece Porsche Design Sport range of apparel, footwear and equipment for running, tennis, golf and driving will premiere in December in about 150 doors in the U.S., Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the U.K. and Asia.
These will include the eight company-owned Porsche Design stores in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, Costa Mesa, Calif., London, Florence, Berlin and Hamburg, Germany. They will also include the 16 Porsche Design franchise stores, premium sporting goods stores and premium department and specialty stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Barneys New York in the U.S. and Galeries Lafayette or Selfridges in Europe. Rudigier said distribution eventually might be expanded to 300 doors and additional markets. He described the overall strategy as “a selective global approach.”
The design is a collaboration of the Porsche Design Studio in Zell am See, Austria, and Adidas. The Herzogenaurach, Germany, sports giant is in charge of production, distribution and sales. Neither company would discuss sales goals, but Adidas executives said price points and the distribution focus on metropolitan areas would be similar to the Y3 business.
“The issue is quality in terms of production and development of the concept, which is more important than a quick return,” Rudigier said.
Although all Porsche Design products are targeted to men, women might be tempted by the cashmere-cotton jacquard knit jacket in a Porsche hexagon pattern or the ultrasleek zip-front black jacket in a moisture-management high-tech textile. They may also clamor for equal time when it comes to the golf clubs (co-branded with TaylorMade), featuring movable weight technology to allow golfers to personalize their performance, or the asymmetric driving shoes, for example, with a right sole that features more grooves for better grip on the gas and brake pedals.
This story first appeared in the July 12, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Available in a mix-and-match color palette of white, black, red, navy and metallic gray titan, many of the pieces are designed to cross sports categories as well as meet different climate needs year-round.