In today’s fashion zeitgeist it’s near impossible to imagine a world without Nike trainers. But, in the bygone days of the ‘60s and ‘70s, before the Swoosh locked down sartorial status, the footwear industry wasn’t quite sure what it was missing without the sporting stalwart’s sneakers.
Jump 40-something years and Nike trainers have reached the pinnacle of footwear culture in 2019. Having etched their presence into society and sportswear alike, the brand’s kicks, ranging from the nostalgic Cortez, to the Waffle Racer ‘Moon Shoe’ and the ever-popular and expanding Air Max dynasty, are true style icons.
Therefore, mastering your Swoosh style is essential if you’re hoping to keep up appearances in the sneaker circuit. So why not source inspiration from our styling team and take a look at how we’ve curated this season’s Nike Trainers below…
Ideal for city dwellers – our first look bets on a relaxed wardrobe for urban dimensions. With the help of trailblazing label CP Company and all-American brand Ralph Lauren in the mix, this outfit takes on an effortless smart-casual stance. Boasting a double dosage of technical layers on top, including a short-sleeved CP Company polo shirt and CP Company arm lens jacket, the outfit further unfolds with comforting Ralph Lauren sweatpants.
Completing the look is a pair of Nike Air Max Light trainers; offering colourful pops to an otherwise monochrome teaming. Since these sneakers have been seldom-seen since the ‘80s, give them the attention they deserve this season through the streets.
If you’re more focused on turning up the dial for nostalgia, look two is a winner. Featuring Nike’s Air Zoom Alpha trainers, *cult classics from the ‘90s*, this outfit channels an elevated approach to dressing. It’s imagined with several layers stacked atop each other, including a Nudie sweatshirt, Albam shirt and cosy Folk sweatshirt. Although warmth shouldn’t pose a problem with this outfit, choose to add or remove layers depending on the temperature. Meanwhile, embrace this Zoom sneaker’s wavy uppers and retro status in your chosen stomping ground.
Boasting a palette made up of only two colours, this black and white ensemble is undoubtedly a head-turner. Bringing urban accents into focus, the look aims to secure the streetwear scene with a range of logo-charged accessories. Styled with Dsquared2’s ICON body bag, not only can all your essentials be kept close by, but your status heightened thanks to the brand’s signature slogan. Adding to the clashing vision is a Ralph Lauren baseball cap, boxy Maison Margiela t-shirt and Champion sweatshorts.
Finished off with the power and stability of Nike’s Vapormax 2019 trainer on foot; we’re sound in the knowledge that this look will confidently pursue the cityscape or summer festivals in equal measure.
Slick, smart and suitable for weekend wear – outfit four is fiercely trend aware. Taking to terrain with the energy of an encapsulated Air Sole unit, Nike’s Air Tailwind 79 sneaker hits the floor with the Swoosh sported at all angles. Up top, a lightweight Paul Smith shirt and neutral Albam overshirt drape the body, teamed alongside versatile Norse Projects chinos. Signing off the sophisticated streetwear look is Moncler’s Theo pouch in olive, styled here across the body.
Wholly inspired by the game, this next look harnesses traditions from the hardwood and prepares to hit the streets. Executed using an unusual approach to layering, the outfit invites a striking Nike jersey atop a cosy Ralph Lauren hoodie. Nike’s Air Force 1 ‘07 low trainers serve timeless appeal on foot, while the sporty styling is broken up with beige Norse Projects chinos. We reckon this one will give off duty dressing a whole new meaning.
Capturing the sporty flair of the ‘90s, this final outfit looks to apparel icons of the past. Beginning by pounding the streets with nostalgia on foot, Nike’s Air Max 98 trainers inject old-school quality to the ensemble while Ralph Lauren’s half zip sweatshirt serves up a cosy layer for easy throwing on. Edwin’s ED55 63 rainbow selvedge denim jeans breaking up the athleisure feel in-between with their turned-up cuffs.
So, whether you’re running errands from day-to-day, dressing to impress or cutting a casual figure, celebrate the Swoosh in superlative style. Shop a wide range of Nike trainers in-store and online at Aphrodite.
After reaching astronomical levels of success, thanks to a helping hand from non-other than Raf Simons, you’d be forgiven for automatically associating the name Ozweego with the hype ladened collection born out of adidas’ collaborative efforts with the Belgian fashion designer. But, as any chunky sneaker fanatic will tell you, the name Ozweego finds its origins deep in the three stripe archives, having originally released amongst the German sportswear companies lineup of practical ’90s runners.
Manufactured to provide improved shock absorption to all those fortunate enough to find it laced to their foot, this iteration takes inspiration from the Ozweego 3 offering up a more modern interpretation of the retro sneaker, imbuing it with up-to-date technical intricacies and altering its silhouette for a more streamlined shape. Boasting multi-material uppers that make use of breathable mesh, plush suede and lightweight TPU the trainers boast adiprene cushioning both to the forefoot and heel as well as a chunky eva infused midsole. Making reference to the rave culture found prevalent around the time of its predecessor, the Ozweego boasts striking hits of neon colouring both in the form of the unmistakable three stripes to the side and a support enhancing science-fictionesque tube system. Appearing both futuristic yet retro at the same time the sneaker is finished with reflective detailing and a sculpted rubber outsole.
With the release of the first phase of the collection earlier in the month, adidas once again go back to basics homing in on two tennis titans for another lesson in understated styling. Blanketing both the recently released SC Premiere and the timeless Supercourt in varying shades of white, the trainers see the same supple leather uppers with the addition of delicately contrasting suede overlays for a subtle nod to the sneakers rich heritage history. Riding on the now tried and tested rubber cupsole both trainers feature tasteful metallic gold branding to the tongue and a selection of both stitch and perforated detailing.
Get your hands on this new pairing online and in store at Aphrodite 21/06/19 or check out the rest of the collection below…
Miss out on the first release of the collection? Not too worry! Find out all you need to below and grab yourself a pair here.
Paying homage to the humble white sneaker and 50 years of adidas Originals, the Home of Classics Collection strips back a curated mixture of both recent arrivals and well-established mainstays in the three-stripe arsenal, highlighting their minimal versatility, universal appeal and rich archival history. Transcending the sporty path laid out in front of them, each shoe featured within the collection found themselves quickly adopted into almost every corner of the social sphere, skyrocketing them from everyday performance sneakers to the ubiquitous components that made up the uniform for a variety of sub-cultural movements.
Whether you like yours worn in and battle damaged or prefer to keep things crisp and clean the Home of Classics collection promises something for everyone, reinstating iconic low-top models such as the Super Court, Continental 80,AR Trainer and SC Premiere to awe inducing levels of bare bones simplicity. Through the removal of somewhat distracting details such as coloured accents and overt branding, adidas use this collection as an opportunity to delve deeper into each silhouette’s intrinsic properties paying close attention to materials, construction and a plethora of more nuanced design elements.
Simplifying things down to their most pure form, the collection splits into two parts with the first seeing each trainers staunch shape and refined lines enhanced by coatings of monochromatic white leather. Accompanied by delicate tonal stitching and a purposely yellowed midsole that makes nods to the trainers heritage roots, the collection employs a less is more approach providing a blank canvas for the trails and tribulations of everyday wear to be painted upon. To the tongue adidas employ an unconventional approach, placing the usually interior size guide to the front for a drop of contrast against the otherwise immaculate presentation.
A standout of the collection is adidas’ modern remaster of the contemporary classic Stan Smith. Dubbed the Stan Smith Recon it comes complete with a number of subtle intricacies and quirky details, casting a superbly timeless image in the contemporary zeitgeist. Penned as a deluxe carbon copy of the original, the silhouette is treated to the same collection-wide supple leather uppers and further enhanced by the removal of the tennis namesake to the tongue. Displaying a hyper focus upon superior craftsmanship and muted expression, the trainers come equipped with the signature Three Stripes perforated on each side and are complete with the simplicity and stability of a rubber cupsole for a guaranteed slick ride through urban dimensions.
With the sneaker marketplace hooked on a ‘bigger is better’ approach and the saturation of bold colours, extravagant design and over the top extras becoming the norm, sometimes a return to basics is, whether we knew it or not, exactly the breathe of fresh air we’ve all been looking for. Boldly laying it all on the table in a testament to the enduring nature of their footwear adidas confidently exhibit the exact principals which have catapulted their designs to the front of the pack year after year, season after season… And who doesn’t love an all-white sneaker for summer?
The Stone Island brand name has many different connotations for many different people; for some, it is inextricably linked with football culture, in particular the casual movement — either in a positive or a negative sense; for others, it has become associated with the grime music scene, and has extended its reach beyond the terraces and onto the streets. But first and foremost, that iconic Compass badge on your sleeve is a symbol of quality, innovation and style — the principles on which the brand as we know it was founded back in 1982.
Stone Island Spring/Summer 1983 Catalogue
Stone Island owner Carlo Rivetti is from a family with long ties to the clothing industry. By the 1980s, though, he had grown restless within the world of formalwear, and sought to diversify into something he found more appealing: sportswear. He and his sister established a firm — the creatively-named Sportswear Company — and scoured Italy looking for companies that shared their vision for innovative casual clothing, where they discovered (and promptly acquired) CP Company. Stone Island itself, however, was conceived almost by accident: Massimo Osti — founder and designer for CP Company, and household name for those in the know about technical sportswear — had conceived a new fabric dubbed Tela Stella, a heavyweight, oilskin-like material impregnated with different pigments on either side, and was determined to make something out of it. He couldn’t find a way to make it fit within CP Company’s collection, however, and so decided to craft a small collection of just seven jackets. In keeping with the military and nautical inspiration behind the Tela Stella fabric, he chose a compass as the logo for his new diffusion line: Stone Island was born.
Stone Island and Streetwear: From the Terraces to the Streets
Moving forward from this inauspicious start, Osti pushed ahead with fabric innovation, endlessly researching new textiles and ways to implement them, coming up with often outlandish, off the wall fabrics that no-one else had even thought of: heat-reactive weaves; nylon fabric laminated with hundreds of glass beads to change the colour in different angles; earth-dyed, acid-corroded canvas. This over-the-top approach, along with the masculine, military styling of the brand’s offerings was a large part of ‘Stoney’s’ appeal to the football casual crowd: fans travelling abroad for away and international games were always on the lookout for new and exciting garments to bring home and show off. Stone Island, with the one-off and unique nature of a lot of Osti’s fabrics, fit perfectly into this culture of one-upmanship, and the brand’s popularity was cemented from then on.
Because of this association with the hyper-masculine world of football casuals, the brand’s enduring legacy has been as a symbol of manliness. In more recent years, it has been adopted by inner-city kids in the UK as a status symbol, and in turn became associated with the grime music scene. Buoyed up by high-profile collaborations with streetwear giants Supreme and Nike, the brand’s appeal has diversified beyond connoisseurs and collectors, particularly across the Atlantic. Urban music superstars like Drake, Frank Ocean and Travis Scott have all embraced the ‘Stoney’ look of late, skyrocketing interest in a brand that was previously alien to those not living in Europe, and launching its appeal to a whole new generation of streetwear fans.
Stone Island Fabrics: Continuing Innovation
These days, far from being helmed by a single visionary like Massimo Osti or later designer Paul Harvey, Carlo Rivetti has assembled a team of designers to better embrace its newfound worldwide popularity and the diversity of its fanbase, stating “It [is] necessary to be multicultural in order to be truly contemporary … I felt that in this era it is this possible to face all aspects of a world only with several minds and several visions.”
Stone Island Heat Reactive Jacket
This ethos has lead to the continuation of the innovation and research that Massimo Osti started all those years ago, and Stone Island holds its reputation for using unusual and technologically-advanced fabrics and finishes. Some recent examples:
Micro Reps: Stone Island Micro Reps is one of the brand’s staple fabric constructions. A classic nylon, the warp and weft fibres are of different thicknesses, allowing for a much tighter weave than a traditional nylon fabric. This not only provides natural weather resistance, but serves as the ideal base for the brand’s garment dyeing experiments.
Nylon Metal: We’ve written about this one before: nylon fibres with an irregular structure are woven as grey weft and white, ready to dye warp threads, and undergo an elaborate double-dyeing process to produce a fabric that has an iridescent sheen in different lighting conditions. This can produce a subtle three-dimensional effect, or be used with bright, contrasting colours to provide some pretty wild results.
Tank Shield: Crafted from matte polyester fabric, the whole jacket is first assembled and then internally laminated with overlapping panels of a weatherproof, breathable membrane, giving superior weather resistance and a near-seamless look.
Heat Reactive: A highly limited capsule, the Stone Island Heat Reactive jacket from SS19 was a cotton ripstop construction, printed all over with a three-colour fractal camo design in a heat reactive pigment. As the wearer’s body heat warmed the fabric, the pattern became brighter and more prominent, also revealing a large Stone Island logo to the back.
This is just a tiny fraction of the scope of the brand’s vision: the brand’s own historical archive consists of over 7000 pieces, while their research archive is larger still, at over 40,000 items of vintage sportswear and militaria.
Stone Island Badges
Aside from the high-end fabrics and construction, perhaps the most important element of a Stone Island product is the removable badge, normally found on the left side of the garment, with the Marina collection breaking the mould and not featuring the badge at all, instead opting for bold text printing. There are a number of different versions of the badge which denote different aspects of the brand. The standard, most commonly recognised badge is the yellow and green compass rose badge (above left). Despite switching from a green border to a black one, the classic badge has remained unchanged since the brand’s inception, and is a tribute to both the military inspiration of the brand and the sense of adventure and exploration driving Osti’s research.
There are a number of monochromatic badges (above centre) that were originally used for what the brand dubbed Ghost Pieces: with fully tonal designs in a variety of colours, including black, red and white, they were conceived as a kind of modern camouflage, allowing the wearer to blend in while still keeping the unmistakeable Stone Island aesthetic. More recently, the tonal black badge has been used to denote pieces from the Shadow Project diffusion line: combining Stone Island’s technical fabric expertise with directional, futuristic designs from ACRONYM’s Errolson Hugh.
The White Compass badge (above right) is seen on limited edition pieces, often known as ‘Champagne Pieces’ because of the colour of the badge. These jackets often use even more innovative fabrics and construction that can only be created in small quantities, and are often at a higher price point to the normal line, due to the limited nature of their production. Of course, the flipside of this limited aspect is that the pieces become collectors items in years to come, holding their value for a lot longer than others, if not increasing it.
Celebrities Wearing Stone Island
Drake with Stone Island owner Carlo Rivetti
The Weeknd in Supreme x Stone Island
As mentioned above, Stone Island has been spotted on more and more celebrities recently. One of the more high-profile representatives of the brand has been music superstar Drake, who seems to wear the brand almost exclusively these days, even going so far as to have custom pieces made for his Boy Meets World tour. Drizzy is joined in his love for Stoney by fellow Canadian star The Weeknd, who was recently spotted wearing pieces from the Supreme x Stone Island collaboration (for extra streetwear kudos), as well as rap mainstays Kanye West and Travis Scott.
Jason Statham in Stone Island
Back over in Blighty, grime artists are often spotted sporting the Compass, including Tinie Tempah and Skepta, while Hollywood hardman Jason Statham is another of the brand’s high profile fans.
Stone Island Headquarters Tour Video
In this unique video, Carlo Rivetti opens the door to the Stone Island empire and allows the public a sneak peek at the research and experimentation that goes on behind the scenes. It offers a fascinating glance into how the brand operates behind closed doors.
The first drop of the Y-3 AW19 Collection Has Arrived! Take a look what is up for grabs below…
After 16 years working in partnership as the driving force behind now world-renowned brand Y-3, adidas and Yohji Yamamoto present the next evolutionary step in their collaborative efforts using their AW19 collection to take a look back into not only the defining historical moments that have shaped both collaborators staunch sensibilities but, the unique intricacies that have fuelled their success.
Focusing in on the ‘70s. ‘80s and ‘90s Y-3 present a collection that for the first time since its inception makes use of archival pieces both from Yamamoto and adidas. Using these select few pieces as a basis to shape an expectantly avant-garde design direction around, AW’19 sees essential adidas garments infused with the designers strong stylistic character and inherently Yamamoto pieces loaded up on generous helpings of three stripe innovation.
Through years spent understanding their counterparts craft and the forward-thinking approach of their dynamic relationship, both adidas and Yamamoto have manged to pave the way when it comes to challenging the preconceived notions surrounding sportwear, crafting line-ups with immense depth, personality and unmatched quality.
Channelling the collection around a multitude of themes including BUILD – whereby the craftsmanship of a garment is paid particular attention to – and SPECTATE – which makes reference to the movement and unity of sports culture – the collection encompasses everything from outerwear to accessories and represents a fresh interpretation on the signature Y-3 aesthetic.
Influenced by the branding found on sports teams, the collection sees an athletically styled YOHJI callout displayed across a varied and expectantly monochromatic line-up which culminates, most notably, with a traditional collegiate varsity jacket. A contrasting feast for the eyes the jacket features embroidered patch branding to the sleeve and chest and comes quilted with primaloft for exceptional levels of insulation. Cut slightly short in the body for added shape the jacket is complete with an array of quintessential detailing including a ribbed collar, cuffs and hem and a plethora of sporty striping.
Re-imagined with streamlined minimalism, this first snippet of the collection also gives way to a number of classic Y-3 footwear silhouettes given new life through subtle alterations. A staple of the Y-3 sneaker line-up the Kaiwa with its towering proportions and premium mix of suede and leather uppers sees a triple black overhaul whilst the Ren is given an alternating colour mix, utilising harsh distinctions to enhance its recognisably modern appearance.
Of course, technical nuance features heavily throughout the duos new body of work, no more so evident in accessories such as the side bag. Boasting a number of compartments and wearing capabilities the bag comes fully customisable allowing the user to detach and re-attach straps and sections as they see fit. Coming in both white and black the bags feature numerous storage options guaranteed to add functional flair to even the most basic of outfits. Headwear is also high on the agenda within the accessory ranks, with a baseball cap complete with aforementioned YOHJI branding alternatively placed to the side found amongst the impressive assembly.
Harboured from years spent working with one another this collection showcases the harmonious understanding and mutual appreciation both adidas and Yamamoto share for one another. Through a deep respect for individual craft and the natural fluidity of ideas Y-3 manage to effortlessly blend the worlds of thematic clothing and utility driven sportswear, forging an unshakeable legacy one collection at a time.
It goes without saying that Stone Island know their way around a jacket; Carlo Rivetti and his talented team of designers, engineers and artists create outerwear like no other. As nice as the summertime is, now that the stock for Stone Island Autumn/Winter is starting to trickle in tantalisingly slowly, we can start to look forward to ‘proper coat weather’. A staple of the brand’s collections, the Stone Island Crinkle Reps Nylon Down Jacket returns this season in a bold and beautiful orange shade.
As with most of the brand’s signature fabrics, the Crinkle Reps goes through a host of processes to give it not only a deep, rich colour, but also a distinctive handle and visual texture. The raw fabric, a high-quality nylon, is tightly woven for a smooth, uniform texture. The nylon is coated on the reverse side with a polyurethane resin, which adds mild weather resistance. The fabric is then subjected to a garment-dyeing process using one of Stone Island’s custom dye formulas. The high heat and pressure of the process changes the texture of the fabric, and means that the dye penetrates the fibres unevenly. This results in a crinkled, three-dimensional appearance with an amazing depth of colour. This orange colour is echoed throughout Stone Island’s upcoming collection in sweatshirts, hoodies and other pieces.
After all that science, the designers take over, fashioning the fabric into the stunning jacket you see here. It features thick, down-injected baffles for exceptional warmth, but remains lightweight enough for daily use. It also boasts a host of classic Stone Island flourishes: two-way zips; military style nylon webbing trims; and an articulated hood that ensures you’ll look just as good with it up or down. And, of course, the jacket is finished with the all-important Compass Badge to the left sleeve.
The Nike Air Max2 Light Returns For Spring Summer 2019
The Nike Air Max2 Light has found its way through our doors bringing with it impressive levels of vintage athletic appeal and of course some similarly gob smacking mechanics below. Looking for your next pair of hot weather kicks? Look no further.
From head to toe denim ensembles and frosted tips to the birth of the internet in America and successful attempts at cloning a sheep named Dolly, there is no denying that the ‘90s was a wild time not only for fashion, but for society in general. With significant events cropping up left, right and centre, fashion trends spinning out of control and genetically engineered barnyard animals to contest with Nike had to do something drastic to stay out in front and build upon the momentum they had created with the launch of the now legendary Air Max 1 in 1987.
Cue what could arguably be seen as the great glory days for the Beaverton born sportswear company as they set to work putting in place the foundations from which their footwear empire still stands to this day, releasing instant classic after instant classic and kicking things up a notch when it came to gas injected midsoles. Booting things off with the Air Max 90 the era lays claim to the crème de la crème of exposed air unit silhouettes boasting a fear-inducing numerical line-up that consists of heavy-hitters such as the Air max 95, Air Max 180, the 93, 97, 98 and of course the Nike Air Max2 Light.
Unleashed to the world in 1994 the Nike Air Max2 Light was the next iteration in Nike’s Light line-up which thanks to a clever composition of less weighty materials provided, as the name suggests, a much more lightweight frame when compared to its fellow air max brethren. Couple this with an arsenal of the latest fine-tuned advancements at it’s disposal and some purposeful adjustments to the core fundamentals of the now tried and tested air max technology and it’s easy to see why the trainer was an instant success.
In a move which could be seen as responsible for pioneering future tech, such as Tuned Air, and in an answer to the increasing demand for more responsive running footwear the Nike Air Max2 Light split its air infused midsole into different compartments, alternating the amount of pressure in each to reach new levels of underfoot support and performance enhancing ingenuity. But, aside from the abundance of complexities found at ground level, perhaps what made the Nike Air Max2 Light such a fan favourite was its multi-panelled uppers and robustly shaped dimensions which took on its array of bold colours with ease.
Returning just in time for summer with the addition of some cuhslon foam and a fresh lick of OG coloured paint, the Nike Air Max2 Light sticks to its original winning formula boasting lashings of contrasting colour blocked red mesh and suede uppers against a clean white leather base. Staying grounded with hits of black to the side swoosh and outsole the trainer is finished with retro branding to the tongue, subdued grey accents to the heel and a green tinged air unit.
Unlike many of the trends from the ‘90s most of us would all rather forget, this is one old school runner we are more than happy to see back in modern day rotations. The Nike Air Max2 Light is available online and in store at Aphrodite now.
There are some garments which every man needs in his wardrobe all year round. A smart shirt, a casual polo, some basic t-shirts and of course a pair of well-fitting trousers. Luckily for those of us who may find themselves missing one or two of these essential components Vivienne Westwood are on hand supplying the goods when it comes to the highest quality bits rammed full of both subtle and not so subtle change ups. Take a look below…
We challenge you to find us a more perfectly transitional piece for summer than a long sleeve polo shirt. Breathable enough to withstand the blistering daytime heat but with that extra flourish of protection when things begin to cool down, it provides an exceptional top half choice that is easily paired up with shorts and trousers alike. Apart from being extremely easy on the eyes this particular offering from Westwood boasts an elongated two button placket, wide striped collar and a soft 100% cotton pique construction and is finished with the classic embroidered orb logo to the chest, signifying the designers dedication to taking tradition into the future. If you’re looking for the social butterfly of top-half attire that’s capable of occasion spanning powers like no other, than look no further.
Next up we have the polos equally as versatile but slightly smarter cousin the button up shirt. Crafted from a lightweight cotton that is perfect for all year round wear it not only showcases Westwood’s affinity for tailoring but their ability to build upon traditional menswear tropes and deliver something that feels completely unique. Equipped with the orb logo embroidered to the chest, concealed collar button downs and subtle hits of branding the garment comes to a head with a three top button accent, providing a playful twist on a tried and tested silhouette.
Bolstering out these looks we have some of Westwood’s timeless basic t-shirts layered below. Available in a range of colours and made from 100% organic cotton they keep things minimal with some slight alterations to fit and the orb logo stamped to the chest for an unmistakable badge of quality.
But of course we can’t focus solely on the waist up especially not when sporting a pair of trousers as top notch as the ones pictured below. Using a contrasting mixture of a relaxed drawstring waist and a sharp tailored cut these legwear titans cleverly manage to merge the worlds of razor sharp sophistication with optimum comfort. Boasting a tapered cut that not only compliments the flowy blend material on offer, but finishes at a raw, exposed hem, the trousers bring a fresh perspective to a vital bit of menswear kit injecting the everyday black trouser with lashings of personality.
Dipping our toe into the Vivienne Westwood’s more runaway influenced pieces this sweatshirt from the Spring Summer collection holds no punches when it comes to bold printed design. Making nods to the designers strong political stance and undeniable punk influences that ran central to many of her early collections, it utilises traditional Chinese ink line drawings fragmented by vocal messaging for a piece that not only makes a first impression but has the depth to back it up. Decked out with ribbing to the neck, hem and cuffs for a defined shape the sweatshirt can be paired up with the matching, equally as loud, shorts for a two-piece ensemble that will almost definitely steal some looks this summer.
The adidas x Raf Simons Ozweego, one of the most beloved and well recognised silhouettes born out of the esteemed Belgian fashion designers work with the German sportswear company, a trend-setting powerhouse and one of the few somewhat innocuous silhouettes, alongside the Stan Smith and Response, fortunate enough to be plucked from the adidas archives for a generous dose of collaborative TLC. Adding an expectantly elevated touch to the ‘90s original, the Ozweego found itself at the forefront of the pairings debut collection and quickly set to work tearing the low top sneaker rule book of the time cover to cover.
With ‘ugly sneakers’ now seen as an established trend, with the likes of Balenciaga, Maison Margiela and countless other designers throwing their hat into the proverbial ring, the same can’t quite be said for 2013 when the Ozweego, with its multilayered frame, bulky exaggerated uppers and chunky midsole took its first tentative step into the limelight.
Like much of the Belgian designers work, the trainers starkly contrasted the typical styling found at the time but through their acceptance into popular culture, most notably with A$AP Rocky’s ‘please Don’t Touch My Raf’, and sightings on the feet of countless celebrities they slowly but surely became mainstays in rotations across the world, setting the wheels in motion for not only the larger than life footwear seen pounding modern day pavements but the degradation of the walls which stood between high-end fashion and streetwear.
Now, after a brief foray into a spot of 3D mapping and some optical illusion inducing French painting techniques earlier in the year, adidas and Raf Simons once again turn their attention to the forefather of chunky sneakers adding a fresh lick of paint to a now undeniable cult classic.
Taking influence from the ‘Bunny Boot’ a type of footwear worn by the American armed forces to combat the harsh conditions found in Alaska, the adidas x Raf Simons Ozweego remains largely unchanged, utilising the same oversized panelled design and sculpted midsole combination that has etched its name among the very best in gargantuan proportioned kicks.
Up top the trainers take a more subdued approach than some of the Ozweego’s past iterations, boasting a supple premium leather construction and swapping out some of the more out there features, such as translucent plastic inserts and entirely cut out sections, for clean coatings of monochromatic colouring. Perhaps one of the most notable features, and where things begin to take a more left field approach, is below where a mirrored TPU film coats the trainers from mid-section down, playing with proportions and hailing back to the ‘70s glam rock influences found embedded throughout the designers SS19 offering.
With fads changing like the wind, the pressures of hype and a seemingly unlimited supply of styles waiting in the wings for their chance at the top spot, we think it’s fair to say that the footwear landscape has never been so fiercely contested. Which is why, 6 years on from its original release, the fact that the Ozweego still remains firmly positioned amongst the best of the best is not only a testament to the shoe itself but the great minds responsible for its creation.