4. What is it about the Equipment line that you admire most?
From a product perspective, I am mostly familiar with the Equipment running category. Even though the ’90s brought a new dawn, I like that there is still a feeling of natural evolution from the ’80s ZX series to the Guidance, Support and Cushion models.
What is most admirable about Equipment, is just how bold a move it was at the time for adidas to re-establish a new path. I remember thinking that the introduction of the Performance logo and the pausing of the Trefoil was a big deal.
Looking at the range now, it all feels very iconic and of the time. The statement of intent that adidas made back then, aligned with the branding and colour palette, is exactly what gives Equipment its unique identity and lasting legacy.
5. The original Equipment line had products for all sports, from the mainstream to the niche. Which areas would you like to see have their own Equipment product today?
Our business roots lie in streetwear and skateboarding, so it’s interesting to think about what an Equipment design for skateboarding could have looked like in the early ’90s. Street skating at that point was fairly underground and evolving in a big way, so an adidas release would have been quite a bold statement. Whether the shoe would have been readily accepted by what was a niche community is another question, but given the connection adidas has to skateboarding nowadays, an Equipment-inspired model could be interesting.
6. What is your favourite part of the collaboration process?
Design and development are my favourite stages of the process, especially if the stars are aligned and the first sample-round is either exactly as imagined or even better. I remember receiving the initial prototype of our adidas Centaur and just thinking how good it was – from the nubuck and thick suede to the silver mesh and screen printed footbed. It had all of the elements I like in a collaboration: a premium application, attention to detail and a sense of authenticity. From a storytelling perspective, that particular shoe was as close as it could be to how I imagined.
Concept is always the toughest stage, as finding an idea – a good one – is the most difficult. Once that barrier is broken down, everything starts to flow and the overall concept takes direction and can evolve quite naturally. The marketing campaign is also nice, especially if the project is met with a positive response!
7. What inspired the Equipment shoe you have created for Consortium 2021?
For every collaboration, the starting point is really a self expression of what we like or the things that are close to us. Being part of the UK, the quirks of British culture very much appeal, especially if we attempt to approach them with a foreign lens.
Working Men’s Clubs have been around for years and though similar in decor to the classic British pub, are often stripped back and basic in detail. Originally established to provide recreation for working class families, the clubs are membership run and more commonly found in Scotland and the north of England. Typically, each one includes a bar area, an additional function room, snooker and pool tables, a dart board and usually a small stage to offer live entertainment, such as bingo or cabaret.
They are still around today, but sadly in decline, and the existing ones often feel like a time capsule to a bygone era. From the classic pub carpet, to the ’70s styling and the disco lights, the clubs retain a charm and character that offer an insight into something uniquely British.
Adidas is also culturally immersed in the fabric of the UK in a way that I feel is quite unique. So, we felt a collision of the brand and spirit of the Working Men’s Clubs would bring a fun expression to the Equipment collaboration.