MILAN — Sneaker ahoy.
The next step of the partnership inked last year between Prada and Adidas sees the launch of the A+P Luna Rossa 21 shoes to be worn by the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team. A lifestyle version of the competition and performance style will be available for purchase.
“Since the beginning of the collaboration, the exchange with Adidas has been very interesting,” Lorenzo Bertelli, head of CSR and marketing of the Prada Group, told WWD. “We found that we have the same kind of approach when it comes to product development. For this shoe, everything started from the needs of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team; the shape of this new style, the innovative and sustainable materials, the performing details have been specially designed for the sailors.”
Prada established the Luna Rossa sailing team in 1997, and participated in the America’s Cup for more than two decades. Adidas’ commitment to athletic achievement extended to the America’s Cup, as the brand equipped a challenger team between 2005 and 2007.
Bertelli said that, “strategically, a collaboration like this always leads to exploring new possibilities and ideas and transforming them into cutting-edge products.”
“Even before beginning this project, it was absolutely our goal to involve Prada and the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team at every stage,” said Torben Schumacher, general manager of Adidas Originals. “After all, the shoe is all about trying to innovate the very nature of a performance sailing product. Throughout the creation process, our design team worked closely with the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli athletes, incorporating their feedback in order to craft a silhouette that elevates performance.”
Asked to identify the potential customer, Bertelli said “the new sneaker is extremely transversal and in a way it inherits the pioneering attitude of the iconic sneaker launched by Prada in 1997. The A+P Luna Rossa 21 was born as a technical shoe for those who want to try their hand at extreme sports, but thanks to its unique and modern design, it is extremely functional for leisure time.”
Prada had a successful run with its America’s Cup sneakers in the late Nineties and early Aughts. Originally known by their product code PS0906, the Prada “America’s Cup” — as consumers have nicknamed them — debuted in 1997 as part of the Linea Rossa technical collection of high-performance apparel and accessories, not to be confused with the Luna Rossa line.
Asked how long it took to develop the new shoe, Schumacher said that “all in all, the design process took over a year. To bring the shoe to life we went through a number of stages. From archival exploration to workshops and prototyping, the overall approach was all about ensuring that the shoe performs at the highest level.”
Designed as a natural extension of the athlete’s body, the shoe has a sleek, lightweight look and feel, with the same stability and grip as if one were barefoot.
The A+P Luna Rossa 21 marks the brands’ commitment to the environment.
“Both Prada and Adidas share the fundamental value of sustainability, now rooted in every project,” said Bertelli. “The research and use of sustainable materials for this shoe has followed a natural process, reinforced by the experiences acquired by both companies in recent years.”
The upper is composed of Primegreen, a series of high-performance recycled materials, and encased in a hydrophobic E-TPU outer shell, providing flexible, breathable support and preventing water from penetrating the shoe.
“Sustainability has long been a key focus for us at Adidas,” observed Schumacher. “Over the last few years, we have accelerated our efforts and pushed ourselves even further reimagining our business processes, from manufacturing and operations to product creation and design. We believe that this collaboration is another important step in order to push our industry towards a more sustainable future.”
The sneaker’s ergonomically designed EVA tongue and perforated, synthetic-suede inner saddle accentuate its sailing performance capabilities. Also, the shoe features a perforated Boost midsole as well as a wrap-around outsole that has been designed to provide high protection from the water, durability, and freedom of movement.
Laces are narrow at the bottom, for faster lacing, and wider at the top to prevent tied knots from coming loose during competition.
The shoes are packaged in a sleek co-branded box that slips inside of a water-resistant pouch-bag.
The shoes, retailing for 550 euros, will launch in a white version on Dec. 9 at Prada boutiques and Adidas flagships worldwide, as well as select wholesale accounts. The range is also available at the brands’ online stores. A dedicated campaign will highlight the lightness of the shoes.
The first Prada for Adidas release debuted last December as a small run of 700 unisex pieces comprising the Prada Superstar and the Prada Bowling bag for Adidas. The sneaker marked the 50th anniversary of the Adidas Superstar and the bag leveraged Prada’s expertise in luxury leather goods, which spans more than 107 years.
Adidas’ Superstar sneaker, originally launched in 1969, is still a cornerstone for the group’s Originals style, as is Prada’s classic bowling bag, which was revisited with references to the Adidas gym bag.
Last year, Prada and Adidas said they were launching a long-term collaboration with the goal to “investigate the realms of heritage, technology and innovation — and to challenge conventional wisdom through unexpected strategies. The new vision draws inspiration from the rich legacies of both to reengineer timeless icons, and leverages the houses’ technological footprint to innovate.”