Alexander Wang's Surprise Adidas Collection Draws Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Tyga & More
Take that, Kanye!
New York designer Alexander Wang dropped a surprise collaboration with Adidas on Saturday night at the tail end of his surf-skate, ath-lingerie-themed runway collection.
Just when we thought it was all over, a film flickered to life at the end of the runway, setting the mood with gritty street scenes, boxes being loaded onto trucks and the Adidas Alexander Wang logo flashing onscreen.
Then, out came Wang’s collection for the sneaker giant, most notable for its use of an upside down version of the Adidas logo.
After the models took a fast lap around the runway, the stage opened up onto #WangFest. And once again this week, following on Tommy Hilfiger’s carnival extravaganza, fashion got festivalized, complete with food trucks, a graffiti tagger, DJ and "see now, buy now" merch (T-shirts and hoodies priced at a steep $80 to $200).
For the project, Wang literally turned the Adidas logo on its head, and then used the emails about copyright infringement and cease-and-desist as artwork for T-shirt designs in the collab collection of 84 unisex pieces of clothing and footwear.
It was a clever co-opt of, and wink at, big corporate branding (not unlike what Demna Gvasalia did with his most recent Vetements collection, which featured co-branded designs with 18 labels, including Juicy Couture and Dr. Martens). The millennial-favorite, "love to hate corporate branding" attitude played out in the Wangfest after-party, too, which included such co-branded attractions as a 7-Eleven Slurpee bar, a McDonalds food truck, Bud Light beers served in #Wangfest paper sleeves, and a NARS cosmetics-sponsored carnival claw game.
Naturally, the fest drew plenty of celebs, too, including Zoe Kravitz, Aziz Ansari, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Tinashe and Tyga, all of whom enjoyed performances by Skrillex, Juicy J, Dej Loaf and Travis Scott.
Pieces from the Wang Adidas collab were shown in display cases, and shrink-wrapped in plastic. There were 3-striped shorts, track jackets and sneakers with sock-like ribbed knit cuffs.
A capsule selection of the Adidas Originals by Alexander Wang collection will be available in pop up trucks in New York, London and Tokyo starting tomorrow, with wider distribution to follow with subsequent deliveries. The times and locations of the trucks will be revealed by calling 917-325-3342 and following @adidasOriginals and @AlexanderWangNY on Instagram and Snapchat.
This isn't the first time Wang used the element of surprise to his brand advantage. He did the same thing in 2014, announcing his H&M collab at a Coachella party.
The whole thing made me think about how much fashion week is becoming not only about brand experiences and "see now, buy now," but also about a battle of sneaker giants, between Kanye’s Adidas Yeezy collections, Rihanna’s Puma Fenty collections, and now this.
Welcome to the new normal.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.
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