“Growing up in the north west of England in the ‘70s and ‘80s adidas was (and still is) the brand we all gravitated towards. I have been a fan ever since. I grew up loving the sophistication of European sportswear brands.”
Gary Aspden is the sneakerhead whose dreams came true, the adidas fanatic whose brand obsession first led him to consulting for the German company, then to curating, and now designing, as well as a second run of 2013’s adidas SPEZIAL exhibition.
Working with the label on a capsule collection of the same name, he says: “The adidas Originals x SPEZIAL collection is about identifying and utilising those elements (beyond the three stripes) of the adidas design personality that are unique to this brand. We have reworked those elements to create twenty first century products that have echoes of the brand’s rich history. It taps into the spirit of the brand’s identity and presents it in a new context.”
“Given the depth of adidas’ archive I felt the job was as much to curate a range as to design one,” he continues.
The results – modelled above by a David Bowie lookalike (that hair, that profile) – are more rooted in casual leisurewear than sportswear, the focus on aesthetic as opposed to technology; details are pulled from archive pieces while the outcome remains modern and contemporary.
Released on 25th October, the drop co-insides with round two of Aspden’s exhibition, the London run of which brought together over 600 pairs of adidas collectables.
Opening in Manchester – the collector’s home circa 1988 – on the 24th October, adidas SPEZIAL runs until 2nd November at 7 Dale Street before heading to Paris in November; Aspden will give a personal tour on the evening of the 28th.
Ahead of this, a special film from Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio sees Aspden explore a Buenos Aires store packed with adidas product. Documented by filmmaker Greg Bond and the photographer Neil Bedford, watch 'Sole Searching in South America' below.