Why Nike vs adidas 2015 is worth watching
Words by Bossman75
Nike will have seen this shift in power coming, perhaps putting their creative muscle behind the Converse/CONS brand whilst playing the rope-a-dope, it’s too early to tell. This is far from the twelfth round but the judges score cards are unanimously in favour of adidas for the foreseeable future.
Supported by the Consortium Superstar 10th anniversary and rollercoaster that is Kanye West’s push for acceptance in fashion, it looks as though 2015 will be the year of the trefoil. Nike’s retro and re-release policy void of new story lines, or at the very least anniversaries, are transparent and become stagnant fast. There have been exceptions, remakes of the Air Raid, Air Trainer SC II, Air Stabs, Huarache Lights, Air Python, the latest Supreme AF1 and the Flyknit Roshe but in general Nike have done little to inspire. The Mo Wax collaboration was well executed but didn’t take long to hit the Sale section. That seems to be the recurring pattern, new release to sale within a matter of weeks. Even with Michael Jordan turning fifty, releasing the OG Jordans from I through X isn’t going to result in any significant change. Where Nike has remained strong has been through their Tech apparel range, and UNDERCOVER x Nike Gyakusou collections. Still, pound for pound across the categories, adidas comes out on top.
adidas has countered every recent play by Nike when you consider the Flyknit/Primeknit, Nike ID/mi adidas, Snkrs/Reserve apps, and the giant shoebox ‘pop ups’ from both camps to name just a few examples. They’ve also been amassing their army of artists, designers and collaborators. A roster of global athletes aside, outside of sport and existing design legacy Nike fall short on talent. adidas can boast new and long time friends the likes of Nigo, Pharrell Williams, Rita Ora, Mark McNairy, David Beckham (not the footballer), Stella McCartney, Porsche Design and of course the very public acquisition of Mr West from Nike. When you consider the Consortium series, the 84 Lab collection, the Spezial collection, continued strong relationships with collaborators like Neighborhood, Maharishi, Undefeated, KZK, CLOT, Club 75, Blvck Scvle, and consistent efforts to push the envelope with Raf Simons, Rick Owens and Jeremy Scott you’d be forgiven for not remembering the sum of all input but foolish to be complacent about it.
With a brand foundation built on models such as the Gazelle, Samba, Stan Smith all of which remain very relevant to this day, the dubious technology behind the Boost and Blade notwithstanding, I struggle to find a weakness in the adidas armour. Love him or hate him Kanye has the spotlight right now, his Yeezy Boost 750 and adidas originals runway showcase at NYFW has left everyone in the shade. The timing is no coincidence and provides the platform for adidas to take top spot in the mainstream and really run the streets.