Stop the presses: Balenciaga x adidas is the latest luxury sportswear link-up and it's more than a mere collaboration; it's demonstrative of the industry's growing comfort level with post-streetwear team-ups.
Remember how big it was when Dior x Jordan launched? It's like we're getting an equally impactful collab every month now, what with Guccididas launching soon and Louis Vuitton exhibiting its Nike collection ahead of a summer launch.
Indeed, 2022's sportswear collaborations put 2021 to shame, with adidas x Gucci, LOEWE x On, and Louis Vuitton x Nike taking high-low collaborations one well-heeled step into the fashion-forward future.
Balenciaga x adidas — or "Balenciaga / adidas," as the pair apparently prefers — was revealed during Balenciaga's Spring 2023 runway show, so casually as to be almost happenstance. This is practically de rigueur these days, as hardly any fashion houses debut their sportswear team-ups as a singular launch.
This obviously ain't your granddad's adidas.
Comprising collaborative apparel, bags, and sneakers, Balenciaga x adidas is basically what you'd imagine if you mentally mashed up Demna's Balenciaga with adidas staples.
Like with adidas x Gucci, adidas' classic pieces are remixed in line with house codes. Since this is Balenciaga, we're talking about, that means making everything massive.
If you can look past the BDSM-y latex layers that Balenciaga styled with every look, you can pick out baggy T-shirts, track jackets, faded hoodies, basketball shorts, and even some massive denim jeans fitted with the Three Stripes and stylized co-branding, down to the squashed adidas Stan Smiths.
For instance, one shirt sports reversed adidas and Balenciaga logos, as if to reflect the subtle yet obvious refurbishments made to the garments.
That is to say, nothing here is entirely unrecognizable.
Sure, the belted duvet coats and washed denim jackets aren't exactly familiar terrain for adidas, but they all make sense within the purview of Balenciaga.
In fact, the apparel collection feels less like Balenciaga x adidas and more like "adidas by Balenciaga" ("Engineered by Balenciaga," even).
Just look at the Balenciaga x adidas Triple S and Speed Trainers, which mash up Balenciaga kicks with adidas tropes, or the bags, which make similar moves with Balenciaga's Hourglass bag.
Not that anyone's complaining, either, or at least not any Balenciaga die-hards. Purebred adidas fanboys may balk at the $2,350 track jackets and $800 T-shirts but this one's clearly for the Balenciaga crowd.