How brands from different cultural universes are collaborating

At the epicentre of the fashionable, hype-driven world of footwear world, live myriad collaborations. From rappers to football clubs to Japanese Designers, these creative partnerships are crucial to generating a sense of exclusivity around trainers, in a world where tribes of trendies will queue for hours to catch the latest ‘drops’ and a single hoodie can resale for up to $22,000.


Streetwear fans will queue overnight to snap up Supreme’s hottest collaborations

(Photo: Hypebeast)

These collaborations have tended to be predictable. The highly coveted and near-impossible-to-buy Yeezy Boost trainers were the product of Adidas’ collaboration with Kanye West: trendy trainer brand couples up with love-to-hate cultural icon. Last year’s Supreme collaboration with Louis Vuitton brought together achingly cool streetwear with the pinnacle of high fashion in a meeting.

But Adidas’ most recent pairing marks a change in direction. It has moved away from iconic celebrities and superlative luxury to something much more grounded. (Or under-grounded, we ought to say.) Adidas’ most recent collaboration is with the quite ordinary, by-some-beloved, often frustrating, totally indispensable London treasure: TFL.


Photo: Foot Patrol blog.

The tube, which shepherds commuters to work and back, takes families to museums, and takes home tipsy groups of friends after a night out, feels like a refreshingly uncool partner for the trainer brand. It speaks in beautiful metaphors about the power of connection and playfully reframes the ‘underground’ as a space that literally fosters trendsetting. This global brand has scaled itself down, adopting a local spirit and speaking to people in the most humdrum of contexts.

It’s exciting to see brands from different cultural universes converging in unexpected ways, and we’re looking forward to see how other brands might take inspiration to make more daringly creative connections.


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