Highsnobiety

Yohji Yamamoto and adidas’ approach to avant-garde sportswear has been revolutionary with Y-3.

Since day one, Yohji’s contemporary take on archival adidas silhouettes has urged onlookers to reconsider the very nature of sportswear design, by revisiting archival designs to confront the future.

Two decades into their ongoing partnership, Yamamoto and adidas embarks on chapter three of its Fall/Winter 2023 collection, the latest instalment of its year-long exploratory narrative, which is set to land online August 1.

Having visited Yohji’s homeland of Japan for Spring/Summer 2023, this season’s Y-3 campaign journeys closer home to adidas’ birthplace of Berlin, Germany, to meet the city’s creative community.

For Yohji, once again FW23 is about recontextualizing and finding contradictions in dynamic juxtapositions. The Japanese designer — whose own eponymous label is also renowned for its audaciously innovative takes — once again draws on athletic iconography, silhouettes, and materials, and serves them through his renegade vision.

Take this season’s collegiate motifs, for example, which take inspiration from vintage varsity-style lettering, or the graphics that adorn jackets, t-shirts, and hoodies, each draw having been inspired by adidas’ rich sporting legacy.

Footwear too stays true to Yohji’s conceptual impetus. The Y-3 CENTENNIAL HI and Y-3 CENTENNIAL LO, which reimagine a quintessential athletic footwear silhouette, arrive in elevated material make-ups, while signature adidas Originals archival silhouettes like the Y-3 SUPERSTAR, Y-3 MARATHON TR, and Y-3 GAZELLE, arrive updated, albeit subtle.

While Y-3 releases might not always garner the hype or the credit it deserves, but perhaps that's a part of its draw. For a label to take timeless looks and reimagine them for the future is one thing in itself, but to have been doing so for nearly twenty-years is another completely. Y-3 truly is the past, present, and future, all rolled into one.

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