Adidas Originals is launching its inaugural ready-to-wear collection, “Blue Version,” today. Two years in the works, the debut fall 2021 collection pays homage to the brand’s rich heritage by melding traditional sportswear and brand codes with luxe materials, unconventional cuts, elevated silhouettes and a distinct, fashion-forward point of view.
“Let’s start with color,” Adidas senior director, design (Statement, Y-3 and Luxury), Stefano Pierre Beruschi said over Zoom from Herzogenaurach, Germany, where the sportswear giant is based. “Blue Version is the name I came up with because I wanted it to be anchored in something we all know. Bluebird is a very distinctive color for Adidas in general: it’s a trademark, it’s iconic to our history. I wanted to celebrate that from beyond the shoebox to draped on the body.
“Beyond just a branding trademark, blue is an evocative color: it’s loyal, sincere, emulating the soul of the brand and the cultures that decorate the brand. It’s a very meaningful way to have a consistent dialogue with every collection we put out.“
To celebrate the fall collection, the brand enlisted photographer Pierre-Ange Carlotti to shoot the campaign, starring filmmaker Ganna Bogdan and musician Duckwrth, and capture the “emotive qualities of blue and what it means to the two creative co-stars,” the brand noted.
While variations of the color blue will always play a lead role throughout Blue Version’s messaging and collections, fall’s rtw incorporates harmonizing colors (black, white, beige, tan) throughout the selection of hybridized garments.
Although the brand is not shy to debut fashion-forward collections, collaborations and partnerships — including those with Adidas x Ivy Park by Beyoncé, Stella McCartney, Prada and more — Blue Version serves as Adidas Originals’ largest individual, elevated fashion endeavor to date.
“It took a lot of conviction from my side to have them believe that we can do this, we have the credibility to do this. We’re shy to do bold gestures and we rely on other people to give us that authority,” Pierre Beruschi noted.
The influence of sportswear across fashion is immense, spanning everything from designer and luxury to mass across the decades. When Pierre Beruschi came into the brand, he wanted to harness the sportswear giant’s global impact and influence — from its iconic three stripes and trefoil logo to its signature silhouettes and aesthetic — to create new fashion-centric impressions. “We don’t always need to follow, we need to lead, and I think we have enough arsenal,” he said.
Although wary to use the word “unapologetic,” Pierre Beruschi described the fall collection as such, saying it’s “about clashing staple garments that are outside of the Adidas world and having them as hybridity with things are 100 percent us. A fusion between us and icons from the outside.”
For instance, reinvigorated trenchcoats, which blend sportswear with classic tailoring cuts; trouser-meets-jogger pants; elevated Beckenbauer tracksuits; remixed bowling and duffel bags, and even an ultra-cool corset tank top. Sporting codes such as brand emblems, sportswear materials, archival jersey typographical prints and more permeate the collection.
From tailoring to a signature camouflage print, Pierre Beruschi and his team put emphasis on keeping the “outside” items’ integrity — be it fabrication, silhouette — while fusing them with archival and current elements from Adidas Originals.
“I was really pushing for a fashion concept that is inspired by ourselves, really exploring a very elevated expression of our archive… Mixing together a lot of history, a lot of areas of our history, multiple studies of different sports, and legacies of the brand. Veering the character of sports with the strong personality of fashion,” he added.
For future collections (noting he’s currently working on Blue Version’s fourth), Pierre Beruschi and his team will take the same “purist approach” to the Adidas Originals archive, while pulling inspiration from the current culture — music, lifestyle, styling, among others touchpoints — that have adopted the brand throughout history.
“That really does embody a lot of what we’re doing for Blue Version: finding those niche subcultures that have adopted us and have become a significant trophy of cool for those kids. Take that, use that, create from that; be inspired by them and the music they listen to… how they wear it, how it’s worn, how it’s styled. Using that as a foundation to grow upon.“
Within the 64-piece debut collection, which is produced in the same factories as Adidas’ premium Y-3 label, ready-to-wear ranges from $50 to $280 while outerwear starts at $250 and goes up to $700 (for a reversible fur coat). Blue Version will be available with select retailers as well as at Adidas flagships and online.