Nike and Adidas will release their highly anticipated high-fashion collaborations next month, with Jacquemius and Gucci respectively. Brand Ellesse launched an Emily Ratajkowski-fronted collaboration with Michael Kors this month alongwith New Balance which launched its collaboration with cult fashion brand Aries in March. Meanwhile Fila is expected to launch a collaboration with London-based Serbian designer Roksanda Illncic in August.
Earlier, sports brands would launch collaborations around trainer launches and sports star sponsorship deals but nowadays, it is proving hard for brands to ensure player exclusivity, says Julie Pont, Creative Director, Heuritech, a French fashion insights agency. While sports-fashion tie-ups are nothing new, these fashion brands are far removed from the sportswear industry, adds Pont.
Roksanda describes its forthcoming collaboration with Fila – which features billowing dresses and duvet coats – as an encounter between two very different identities to create a new one, at once unexpected and authentic.
The logic behind these partnerships is about raising sports brands’ fashionability, while also easing the entry points into fashion for younger customers. Though practical, these fashion pieces are not always designed for activity, says Emily Gordon-Smith, Head-Fashion, Stylus.
The collabs make some notable pieces, she adds, predicting the accessories – for example, the Gucci bucket hat and Gazelle trainers, the Roksanda moon boots and 1980s-style barrel bag, the Jacquemus X Nike Humara trainers – will sell out first. Collabs is expected to influence the fashion landscape and elevate the aesthetics of athleisure.
According to Gordon-Smith, this new wave of collabs will have a significant impact on the high street with elevated sports looks to sell in shops like Zara from June.