The rivalry between sports fashion giants Nike and Adidas is nothing new. But now it seems to be taking a new turn thanks to some of the world’s leading fashion houses. In recent months, the two sports manufacturers have doubled down on collaborations of all kinds with the luxury sector, with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Jacquemus and Balenciaga. Actors at the cutting edge of fashion, but also particularly popular with young people, suggesting that, rather than fighting for style, it’s a battle to create the next viral hit.
Not a week goes by without a major luxury brand unveiling a new collection with a sportswear and sporting goods manufacturer. While Reebok, Puma and Kappa are among the brands exploring this lucrative field, it is Nike and Adidas that are really making the difference. The phenomenon is such that the two sportswear giants seem to be playing a particularly fierce game of ping-pong, hitting back harder and harder with collaborations that are increasingly original, not to say unique, taking luxury fashion to new heights of popularity.
A guaranteed success for Adidas
While it might have seemed that the battle between these eternal rivals would take place in the metaverse, both launched their own parallel universes within days of each other. However, their new battleground is in the luxury fashion industry, a sector that is far from their DNA. It’s a match that promises to be very exciting, if the collaborations presented in recent weeks are anything to go by…. But now, Adidas may have taken the lead, announcing, on Sunday, May 22, a partnership with the world’s most popular fashion brand, Balenciaga.
Unveiling the brand’s spring 2023 collection in New York, with models in latex suits covering their faces, creative director Demna Gvasalia revealed what could become the collaboration of the year between Balenciaga and Adidas. This includes a reinterpretation of the iconic Triple S, printed for the occasion with the iconic Adidas three stripes, but also T-shirts, sweatpants and tracksuit jackets, tank tops, a strapless dress and even wide jean pants, also adorned with the iconic three stripes.
Moreover, to have an even greater effect, both brands put the collection on sale immediately, and only for a very limited time, as it will be available only until May 29. There is no doubt that it will be sold out! However, those who want one of these exclusive creations will not get them at low cost. The T-shirts are worth €595 a piece, the sweatpants €1200 and the hooded leather jacket €4200, a true collector’s item.
With this collaboration, the brand with the three stripes has secured a significant advantage over its opponent, especially as it will be followed by the launch of another long-awaited collection: the fruit of its partnership with Gucci, another fashion brand particularly popular with the younger generation. While the collection has been the subject of some criticism in China, there is no doubt that it will also sell out quickly when it is released on June 7.
Nike strikes back
But the Swoosh brand has not thrown in the towel, far from it. After presenting successful collaborations with Louis Vuitton and Sacai, Nike scored a hit by announcing a collection with one of the most prominent houses on social media: Jacquemus. While the fruit of this partnership has yet to be fully revealed, it is known to focus on vintage pieces and the American giant’s outdoor activities, with a fisherman’s hat, biker shorts and an eye-catching new version of the Humara shoe. All of these will follow successive Adidas launches on June 28.
The links between the worlds of designer fashion and sportswear have long been established, but this new and more than fruitful friendship seems to be at its peak today, bringing together audiences that previously belonged to different worlds and, at the same time, putting luxury fashion under the spotlight on the streets, while sportswear secures a place on the most prestigious catwalks.