9th June 2023

adidas Originals by Wales Bonner SS23

Michael Meir-Wright takes a look at the latest collaboration between the British designer and the sportswear giant

The latest collaborative collection from sportswear giants adidas Originals and revered British designer Grace Wales Bonner is a loving tribute to Jamaica, the Caribbean jewel from where Wales Bonner traces half of her ancestry.  SS23’s arresting new proposition, Land of Wood and Water, draws its creative inspiration from the island’s breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture.

Classic silhouettes find themselves strikingly reimagined.  Bold colours and patterns abound, rooted in the spirit of the nation.  Enduring adidas staples, like tracksuits and shorts are rendered in cyan hues to reflect the verdant foliage found in the countryside and the sparkling waters found by the beach.  Elsewhere, the colours of the Jamaican flag adorn t-shirts and jackets in proud declarations of identity and belonging, while knitted sweater vests with psychedelic Argyle checks recall cool fashion sensibilities of the 70s on the island.

It should come as no surprise then to see the Return of the Rudeboy in the form of iconic Harrington jackets and flared trousers, an affectionate reference to the uniform of the reggae and ska-infused subculture that blossomed in Kingston during the 60s and 70s.  The designer also reconsiders two archival footwear classics for summer.  The famed Samba, adidas’ sneaker du jour, is given the WB treatment in metallic silver, with crocheted detailing reconceptualising the brand’s legendary three stripe motif.  Finally, the venerable SL72, first designed for the 1972 Munich Olympics, pays homage to Jamaica’s dynamism and essence in orange, green and brown colourways.

The accompanying campaign for the collection is an unforgettable celebration of Jamaica and its people.  The imagery and short film from the lenses of French-Caribbean creative artists Jalan and Jibril Durimel, combines intimate portraiture and ethereal backdrops with retro-tinged storytelling.  In concert with adidas Originals, Wales Bonner and stylist Tom Guinness, we have a captivating ode to a land of wood and water that evokes culture, togetherness and freedom.  If we can’t visit there, now we can at least still feel close to it.


For more information on adidas Originals by Wales Bonner SS23, click here

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