It’s been a year since writer and historian Gary Warnett left us due to complications from an illness. Gary was a thought leader in the space that we today call “street fashion.” More than most, he connected moments of the past—both big and small —to current trends, products and movements, always ensuring that readers and fans understood just why things matter. His global view is not simply bottlenecked as sneaker culture or streetwear. Rather, he looked at the two as inputs into a much stronger conversation that stretched into music, the arts, and pop culture. We are less without his voice and writing, but continue to strive to push things forward in his spirit.
Today on the anniversary of his passing, adidas honors the legacy of Gary Warnett with a special friends-and-family release. Three items were developed in honor of Gary.
The adidas “Molly” Waterpoof sneaker is titled after Gary’s dog, Molly, a trusted companion in his hometown of Bedford. The upper is clean cream white, with a pink trefoil hit on the notch heel. The inside care tag is finished with Gary’s famous GWARIZM logo and mark—itself a play on the logo of workwear brand Ben Davis and the Moomin comic characters. A leather footbed reading 1978-2017 finishes the remembrance.
Two adidas jackets were also produced to honor his passing: a one-of-one adidas Squamish 93 featuring red applique on the button trim and a friends-and-family adidas Athens track jacket in all-black. Both jackets feature the GWARIZM logo mark, but take things a step further by flipping the GORE-TEX patch to read GWAR-TEX in honor of Gary. As many know, Gary was fond of GORE-TEX and seeing his moniker in play here is quite astounding.
At the helm of what has been dubbed the “GWAR-TEX” collection was his close friend, adidas Global Senior Director of Design at adidas Originals, Chris Law. We asked Chris to share some words on the importance of honoring Gary with these garms.
“Gaz was a close friend of mine. We grew up one street apart—my sister and Gary were close mates growing up in school. I’m a few years older; I re-connected with Gary a few years later on when he came and worked with me and the crew during my time at Crooked Tongues.
It’s hard to speak on Gary’s knowledge about sneakers and streetwear (or whatever you want to call it), as so much has already been said about him and his connection to it all. That was just the tip of the iceberg with Gaz. He could hold a conversation about anything and school you on most things—be it skateboarding, ’80s New York Hardcore, obscure films, TV shows or documentaries, dogs, or Bruce Springsteen. You can read about all this quite easily if you didn’t know the man.
If you did know the man, you would miss him. We all miss him. He connected with us all in different ways. As when anyone close passes, you feel a bit useless and want to do something to remember him by, something that would mean something to him.
Part of a close group of Gary’s friends work at footwear brands in positions of product. We as a collective group decided we should all do something in the same vein with a joint goal: The product should relate directly to him, it shouldn’t be a commercial release, and it should be tasteful—something he would respect and wear.
You could say this is pretty much in history the only time that adidas, Reebok, Nike, New Balance and Vans have—through Gary—come together in alignment on a joint project. That’s pretty big.
So what did I do? Well pretty much I had free reign to do whatever I wanted. If you knew Gaz, he loved most of all his dog ‘Molly,’ so that was my color inspiration for the shoes. He had a passion for GORE-TEX, ’90s technical jackets, and footwear with purpose and a story.
On his site Gwarizm.com, Gaz wrote an in-depth feature about the adidas ‘Waterproof’ as he really liked that shoe and its history with GORE-TEX. He also interviewed Gary Aspden in it too, as Gary had re-issued the Waterproof through his Spezial range, a line Gaz had a lot of respect for. He also talks about the ‘Athens’ GORE-TEX jacket, so I remade that also to go with the shoes.
The other part of the equation is that I wanted to make a one-off GORE-TEX jacket based on a technical ’90s jacket, the Squamish 93 Adventure jacket. This and the film are more of a personal dedication to him, like art pieces. He loved a logo switch and that’s where his signature ‘Moomin’ comes in. This is a one-off piece, not for sale, that will go to his mum and brother.
So that’s it really: Some friends making some products to honor a great man who will forever live in our hearts and memories. Rest in peace, Gaz. And if you’re reading this, I’m sure you’ll be having a little chuckle. Miss you mate.”
In addition to the capsule collection, a short film produced by Niranjala Keen and directed by Glenn Kitson was made to accompany this release.