Form Yohji Yamamoto to Stella McCartney and Jeremy Scott, various designers partnered with Adidas over the years to develop all kinds of impressive sneakers. But while Raf Simons was one of the first to team up with the three stripes German manufacturer, his work was also quite ahead of its time and central to the rise of fascination with the contemporary “ugly sneaker”. Intrigued? Here’s what you need to know about Raf Simons’s newest chunky takes on Adidas. Our best picks for fall are available now at ENTRANCE.
By Diana Colcer
Nowadays, when you say “ugly sneaker” the only thing that comes to mind is a pair of Balenciaga’s Tripe S. Or, perhaps, the Yeezy 700 by Kanye West. This just goes to prove that, unless it’s sports, being the first doesn’t necessarily guarantee recognition or success. And that sometimes, even if you know you cooked up a great idea, you’ve got to wait for the right moment to show it to the world.
The Ozweego rise to fame
Case point — back in 2013, when Belgian designer Raf Simons birthed the idea of the “chunky sneaker” and his first “ugly” take on the Adidas Ozweego hit shelves, street fashion was still in full skinny jeans mode. So, naturally, the bulky, chunky, funny looking sneakers just wouldn’t match with the ankle-tight pants. They were simply too much to handle and safe to say they weren’t an instant hit, being passed by even on sales day. But they were — and remained so over the years — a pretty awesome and daring re-design of the vintage model. The Ozweego was released by Adidas in the late 1990’s with moderate success, and actually Raf Simons’s work on the model shares little with the original, other than the name. And it’s what makes it so special: the Ozweego by Raf Simons aren’t just a replica of a vintage sneaker re-issued for current tastes in fashion, they are a genuinely fresh, thoughtful, innovative reinterpretation. A fusion between functionality, heritage sportswear and Raf Simons’s refreshing aesthetics, the Ozweego by Raf Simons for AW18/19 are crafted from a mix of leather, mesh and rubber, providing the athletic silhouette a with luxe updated makeover.
The Detriot Runner to the new-age
And because Raf Simons collaborations with Adidas are always such a knockout, we have no doubts about this one either — for this season, the renowned designer has also revisited the Detroit Runner silhouette, initially introduced for FW17. The Detroit Runner is, as we know, Simons’ take on a new generation of “running sneakers.” Similar to previous releases, the low-cut silhouette fuses a chunky and futuristic sole unit with a very minimal, classic canvas upper, clearly influenced by Converse Chuck Taylor. However, the key difference with previous Detroit Runner releases is the use of metallic panels on the midsole. Colours for the Fall/Winter 2018 include classic black, white and grey, as well as a sneaker with a grey upper and red midsole and another in olive and pink. These sturdy yet stylish sneakers are ideal for seeing you right through the rest of the year – don’t miss out.
Finally, if you’re still wondering what on Earth will you be wearing them sneakers with — like I do, sometimes — it’s probably worth mentioning that these Raf Simons x Adidas models fit best with wide-leg trousers which can stand up to all that extra baggage on your feet. And would it amaze you to hear that Raf Simons has also been making those long before they were trendy, too? I didn’t think so.