Adidas was struggling with its brand just a few years ago. Despite trying mightily to fight the big-name endorsements game with Nike, they always seemed to lag. Do you even remember that Adidas’ big-name star was once Kobe Bryant, before he defected to wear a swoosh instead of stripes? Then, Adidas began trying something different. Instead of competing purely on tech pizazz and street cred, it began wooing high-fashion designers like Stella McCartney and Yohji Yamamoto.
This spring, that strategy has hit full bloom, with Adidas’s new SLVR line of sportswear, which is intended to be a fashion-conscious bridge between the mass market and it’s ultra-expensive designs by Yamamoto, for the Y-3 label. The brand’s flagship store just opened in SoHo, and as The New York Times writes today:
It’s sort of uncanny that SLVR, a new line from the Adidas megabrand, can present such fresh clothing so quickly. It just opened a store on Wooster Street, and the merchandise attempts to be functional, eco-friendly, fashion-y and relatively affordable…
…For the casual shopper, the clothes may at firstseem similar to Y-3, the Adidas collaboration with the Japaneseavant-garde designer Yohji Yamamoto.Like that sublime line, these garments try to wed high-fashion coolwith athletic wear. But they are made of less-expensive fabrics andcost much less. For example, the Light Pack Jacket is a crispwindbreaker made from white translucent polyethylene material…It’s $175. At Y-3, this creation would be made of cobweb-delicate titanium mesh and cost $1,000.
Still not cheap. But you have to admire the creativity that Adidas has been applying to the market, and the clothes themselves look fantastic. Here are some images of the store and the line: