Highsnobiety / Chris Danforth

The longstanding collaboration between German sportswear giant adidas and legendary Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto is one of the most fabled in the sneaker business, having been one of the first to fuse sportswear and high fashion on the runway. The unveiling of new Y-3 footwear at Paris Fashion Week has become a highlight of both the fashion and sneaker calendar.

We dropped by the brand’s showroom to grab a look at Y-3’s upcoming Spring/Summer 2020 collection and speak to adidas Originals’ Senior VP of global design Nic Galway about a handful of the best kicks Y-3 will be releasing next year.

“When we started this season, we really wanted to make sure we anchored ourselves in sport and the idea that the streets are the new stadiums,” says Galway. “From there, we wanted to look at different references from our past and then bring everything through the lens of Y-3.”

Read on to get the full lowdown from Galway on the best Y-3 sneakers of SS20.

Y-3 Yohji Racer

Highsnobiety / Chris Danforth

“The Superstar is an important shoe for Y-3 because it’s Yohji’s favorite adidas shoe. It’s also Kubo, Yohji’s first assistant’s favorite shoe. So we’ve always had this strong affinity with the Superstar. It’s almost like the studio shoe of the team.

“We really wanted to to take a different angle on it. So we worked with our action sports team in Portland and just talked about how we would rebuild a Superstar. This was kind of the sketches and studies we did together. You clearly see the Superstar, but you also see it in a new dynamic.”

Y-3 Slide

Highsnobiety / Chris Danforth

“This is a play on the Adilette. We wanted to take the caricature, if you like, of the Adilette, but then just have some fun with it. Just make something really, really soft and comfortable for summer, something really easy to put on. It’s such an iconic silhouette that you know exactly what it is.”

Y-3 TS24

Highsnobiety / Chris Danforth

“This basketball shoe has the original A3 cushioning, and this was one of the very first technologies we did with Yamamoto. It was kind of a nice reference to bring that back. We wanted to re-explore it through the lens of a favored basketball shoe, so that’s this guy.

“It’s a mixture of OG detailing, but then really playing with the 3D embroidery on top of the shoes. You’ve got traditional-looking sneakers today or you’ve got sock ones, and we wanted a different kind of build.”

Y-3 Rehito

Highsnobiety / Chris Danforth

“The Kurim outsole is pretty cool on this. It’s not rubber, it’s a two-density TPU in the sole. I’m not sure if you know the Adizero shoes from around 2004. They were really impactful. A lot of very dynamic detailing in the toe. Again, the use of Kurim and lightweight EVA. This is one of our performance toolings, which is being modified for Y-3.”

Y-3 Raito Racer

Highsnobiety / Chris Danforth

“This shoe is really about travel. What we’re looking at is a super-lightweight packable shoe, which you can always have with you. We wanted to build the experience into the shoe. ”

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

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