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Yohji Yamamoto and adidas’ collaborative entity Y-3 has always been a first-mover label, which pioneered today’s coalescence of sportswear and high fashion. The collection first debuted in 2002, and for that decade-and-a-half, Y-3 has set a high standard not only for collaborations in the fashion space, but for footwear design.

During fashion week in Paris, we spoke with global senior VP of design for adidas Originals and style Nic Galway, who walked us through the key details of Y-3’s FW19 footwear offerings.

Galway explained to Highsnobiety, “For the Y-3 Fall/Winter 2019 collection, we focused on three eras that are crucial to both adidas and Yamamoto: the ’70s, the ’80s, and the ’90s. It’s about “Icons meet icons” – interpreting our individual codes through the lens of one another. In footwear, the range presents directional, low-profile sneakers, elevated court trainers, and modernized reissues from the initial pioneering collaborations between Yohji Yamamoto & adidas.”

Y-3 Runner 4D

A year ago, Y-3 debuted the brand’s first Runner 4D with monochromatic upper and signature Aero Green sole tooling. Now for FW19, adidas and Yamamoto re-work the upper design, imagining it with Japanese “toketa” floral prints, riding on a black Carbon 4D sole. Galway explains “The Y-3 Runner 4D for the FW19 season features a completely black sole, the first of its kind, a pioneering new innovation in this technology. The Primeknit upper presents a new take on the Tenet upper language of the cage.”

Y-3 Yuuto

Fitting with the collection’s ambitions of digging into the Yamamoto and adidas archives, this Yuuto style actually looks back to the very beginning of the collaboration. Galway notes “The Y-3 Yuuto is a re-edition of one of the first footwear styles created by adidas for Yohji Yamamoto back in 2001, the Tenet. After looking in our archive we realized how this style is still completely aligned with the current footwear trends.”

Y-3 FYW S-97

Merging both adidas’ key proprietary technologies, the FYW S-97 is explained by Galway who mentions “The Y-3 FYW S-97 takes inspiration from the Salvation, the adidas iconic late 90’s runner. The tooling has been redesigned for today and updated with the newest adidas technologies – last generation BOOST and knit upper. The cage on the sole has been designed to leave space for the BOOST to expand to the foot.”

Y-3 Hokori

Equally at home on the court and on the runway, Yamamoto looked at basketball footwear to inspire this women’s style for FW19. “The Y-3 Hokori is a women only style inspired by the basketball silhouettes of the 2000’s, executed with a more sophisticated look,” notes Galway.

Y-3 Regu

Slightly resembling a rock climbing shoe with a sporty, Japanese twist, “The Y-3 Regu is another homage to the heritage of the long-term collaboration with Yohji Yamamoto, a re-edition of the original style Mei which was shown at Yohji Yamamoto’s 2002 show,” reveals Galway.

Y-3 Yuben Mid

Another basketball style that remains clean and simple aside from Yamamoto’s signature on the upper, “The Y-3 Yuben Mid has a distinctive style that elevates a classical basketball-inspired look,” Galway explains to Highsnobiety.

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Vancouver-born, Berlin-based writer, photographer and editor with a steady hand on the keyboard.

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