adidas' 2020 Highlight Reel
What a year, huh? 2020 may have been a wild ride, but there was still plenty to celebrate at adidas. Of course, stalwart franchises like BOOST and ZX flew the Trefoil flag and grew their families with the likes of the ZX 2K BOOST and X9000, plus fire drops like the ZX 8000 'Kirschblütenallee'.
In terms of the year's serious standouts, Team Trefoil built on the firm foundations laid down in 2019 to create some of 2020's best projects. Continuing the collaborative precedent set by the legendary 2008 collection, the 26-strong A-ZX project was arguably the most ambitious. This year's additions to the long-running Star Wars collection were lightyears away from previous efforts, as adidas really nailed it on the details. It was big news when Beyonce signed on to join the fam, and her mammoth collections finally dropped in 2020. Finally, the return of the iconic adidas Forum was a very welcome surprise!
It was a big year for the Three Stripes, so let's reminisce.
Everything from A to ZX
Undoubtedly Team Trefoil’s biggest undertaking in 2020 was the A-ZX project. Revisiting the AZX collection that rolled out in 2008-9, this year's iteration kicked off a mammoth 26 releases – one for each letter of the alphabet – that will roll out into 2021.
Roaring out of the gate with a first-ever OG ZX 1000C retro and beast-mode atmos ZX 8000, the collection enlisted some of the game's biggest retailers to bring their collaborative panache to the project. The likes of Concepts, BAPE, UNDEFEATED, IRAK, Heytea and Juventus have all taken on the adi franchise, while inline releases like the ZX 8000 'Superstar' and ZX 6000 'XZ 0006' brought thoroughly Three Stripes references to a whole bunch of releases. Adding to the fun, a graphic periodic table reveals the models one by one, keeping us guessing all the way into next year.
From a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Admittedly, we saw plenty of Star Wars releases in 2019, but it wasn't until this year that it launched into hyperspace. Looking back, last year's offerings might as well have been designed by The Empire, while 2020's were created by the Rebel Alliance. With galaxies of source material, it was refreshing to see adi take the tongue-in-cheek route and inject some fun into the collection.
This year's releases, though potentially less 'traditionally' wearable that 2019's, turned up the kitsch and made each shoe a collectible. It's the Star Wars fandom we're talking about here, so this was the right move. The Rivalry Hi 'Chewbacca' and Top Ten His for 'C-3PO' and 'Boba Fett' epitomised the detail-driven drops. And then there was the toy-packaging shoebox – a delightful final flourish!
The Forum Is Back, Baby!
If you'd told us last year that we'd be heralding the Forum's return as one of adidas' highlights for 2020, maybe we wouldn't have believed you. Not because it's a bad shoe – it's an excellent shoe! – we just didn't see its revival coming!
Recent months have seen one hell of a revival roster for the 1984 baller, with premium colabs from the likes of Sneaker Politics, BSTN, Footpatrol, Sivasdescalzo and IVY PARK signalling its return with a bang – with His, Mids and Lows all getting the collaborative treatment.
Here's hoping the Forum sees even more action in 2021!
On the subject of the IVY PARK Forum, 2020 saw the rollout of Beyonce's IVY PARK x adidas partnership. Announced last year, signing Queen Bey and her athletic wear brand IVY PARK was a huge move for adidas in 2019. This year, it paid dividends with two MASSIVE footwear and apparel collections.
The highlight was undoubtedly the aforementioned Forums in Mid and Low iterations, which gave the colab some serious sneaker cred. Bey fans were given a hard task choosing between the 'Mint' and White/Black iterations, while those avoiding sweaty ankles scored a dependable tonal beige number.
The Nite Joggers and Sleek Super 72 ticked the girlier boxes for those looking for a Beyonce-branded everyday driver.