It’s been a big year for adidas. After all, 2022 marks the year of one of the industry’s biggest partnership dissolutions in history. On a product front, adidas stayed strong when it came to collaborations with heavy hitters like Wales Bonner and Gucci, and unsurprisingly, they kept the General Releases coming too. If one thing’s for sure, it’s that adidas sure as hell have not stood still this year, dropping shoes like Grinch-themed Forum Lows when least expected! So let’s look back at the best the Three Stripes had to offer in 2022. Check it out below.
Bringing the Heat With Wales Bonner
,adidas’ strongest suit in 2022 has been their collaborations. Going from strength to strength, they’ve created coveted releases that have tapped into different facets of the fashion industry through their partners – namely Wales Bonner and Gucci. First linking up in 2021, adidas and WB have gone on to create pairs that are worthy of grail status for many, especially when it comes to silhouettes like the Japan and Samba. Inarguably though, the collaborative Sambas have been the hottest commodity from the ongoing collaboration, with the most recent red and cream colourways becoming some of the most sought-after sneakers of 2022. According to runway leaks from earlier this year, there is more Wales Bonner x adidas to be expected for 2023.
It’s All Gucci
adidas’ collaboration with Gucci has been one of the most memorable in recent years. Together, they gave the concept of mixing streetwear with luxury fashion a good run for its money, creating a gaudy and flamboyant range that featured a hefty number of Gazelles and a full range of apparel and accessories. Even though the collision of high fashion and sneakers is far from new in the sneakersphere, the offering brought new ideas to the mix, including exorbitant price tags to boot!
As one of the industry’s heavyweights, it’s no surprise that some of the most popular shoes of the year were adidas General Releases. And the silhouette leading the way for adi GRs has undoubtedly been the adidas Samba. Remaining a constant in rotations among its loyal legion of fans, it even became somewhat of a hype sneaker, selling out with speed come restock time. Further cementing its popularity, it also received a stack of collaborations, including a GR-esque drop with Humanrace and embroidery adorned pairs with The FACE.
A sneaker doesn’t have to be the most popular shoe to rank highly, though, and a model making its plea in this category has been the Adimatic. Brought back this year, the puffy skate shoes from the 90s saw a grand return, with the retro skater dropping in a number of colourways as well as collaborations with the likes of atmos and HUMAN MADE. The Adimatic hasn’t exactly been picked up by the masses in 2022, but let’s just say it was a top pick by the ‘if you know, you know’ sector.
Pop Culture Link-Ups
adidas came through big with the nostalgia in 2022, gracing many of their inline models with the faces and features of many familiar characters. Kicking off the year, they teamed up with South Park to drop an extensive six-shoe collection, including the Stan Smith, the Forum Low and more. The Three Stripes also tapped The Simpsons’ Snowball character for a themed Superstar, somewhat foreshadowing the Grinch-themed Forum Lows that would close out the year. The Yu-Gi-Oh collection also needs an honourable mention, although the pop-culture link-ups weren’t just for TV personalities! adidas also teamed up with Sanrio for a collection that celebrated Hello Kitty and M&Ms for some sweet-toothed Forums!
Breaking Ground With Nora Vasconcellos
Aside from product and fashion collaborations, one of adidas’ biggest achievements in 2022 was signing pro skateboarder and illustrator Nora Vasconcellos as adidas Skateboarding’s first woman rider to receive and design her own Signature Pro silhouette. So far at the Three Stripes, Nora has created the NORA by Nora Vasconcellos collection, which featured the Pro model in a number of colourways alongside apparel. Not only is Vasconcellos breaking ground for representation and inclusivity in the industry, but she’s also an advocate for mental health, aiming to break down stigma in the area through open conversation.
For more 2022 retrospectives, head here!