Yamamoto and Adidas: A Decade-Long Affair

YOHJI YAMAMOTO. PHOTO COURTESY OF KOICHI INAKOSHI



Dedicated followers of fashion know well that Y-3, the collaboration between Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas, presented its first collection in 2003. So why does word on the street have it that the brand is celebrating its tenth anniversary during men's fashion week this year? Well, a little-known fact is that the original collaboration in fact began in 2001, when Yamamoto launched the prequel to the characteristic sporty-chic silhouettes. A limited edition of footwear saw the light—and today, they're absolute collectors' items among fans.

In celebration of their decade-long collaboration, Adidas and Yamamoto will celebrate on January 23 at the Maison des Metallos—the factory-cum-cultural-center in Belleville (Paris' answer to Chinatown). A feast of draping, spandex, triple stripes, and black-on-black is to be expected. Needless to say, a work out will be the last thing on anyone's mind. We squeezed in a few questions with Yamamoto in anticipation of the soirée.


ALICE PFEIFFER: Why were you initially interested by sportswear collaboration?

YOHJI YAMAMOTO: Ten years ago, together with Adidas, we created something that did not exist before and completely projected into the future. Y-3 opened a new segment, a niche in the fashion and sportswear market.

PFEIFFER: And is it still relevant today?

YAMAMOTO: Today, tomorrow... I feel this is still relevant, and Y-3 is always continuing to evolve, like a child that is still growing. It is demanding, but it also is fun.

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PFEIFFER:  How has your sportswear designs evolved in the past decade?

YAMAMOTO: My desire was and is to make sportswear elegant and chic. Adidas is a very personal inspiration to me—it enriches my creative life. I like the three stripes—the good old familiar.

PFEIFFER: Has people's relationship to sportswear changed in the last 10 years?

YAMAMOTO: Fashion always relates to current influences. Sports influence became so strong in the last 10 years. And now we live in a sports and body-conscious age. I don't see this changing soon.


ADIDAS AND YOHJI YAMAMOTO WILL CELEBRATE THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THEIR COLLABORATION ON JANUARY 23 AT THE MAISON DES METALLOS.

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