Gucci is believed to be launching their second collaboration with Adidas. Do we really need it?
The first Gucci and Adidas collaboration launched at Design Orchard last June. File Photo: Zhao Xiangji for SOTD
It has been reported this week that Gucci will be releasing the second collaborative collection with Adidas. The Instagram post of sneaker discloser House of Leaks, revealing the supposed kicks of the Gucci X Adidas pairing, was reported by news sites, such as Highsnobiety and Yahoo News. There’s no word from the Italian or German brand yet, but their next joint output supposedly will comprise of only footwear, mainly the Gazelle and the ZX 8000. The shoes are expected to drop later this month. As seen in the leaked images, the kicks are mostly colourful and attention-grabbing, with no subtlety in the use of the Gucci monogram on the upper—nothing new there. This will no doubt delight those for whom branding-lite footwear holds virtually no appeal.
Last year’s debut Gucci X Adidas collab was, as we understand it, initiated by Alessandro Michelle. That Gucci will revive a collaboration conceived by the former creative director, who left suddenly and purportedly amid abrasive corporate dissent, is rather surprising. According to WWD, there were “strong disagreements over the future of the brand [that] caused a rift between Michele and president and chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri”. On top of that, Gucci’s management wanted what has been referred to as “reboot” of the brand. If so, why revive something that vividly recalls the person that has brought the brand immense fortune until it did not? Gucci will soon have a new creative head—Sabato De Sarno from Valentino. Might it make more sense to see what path forward Mr Se Sarno will take Gucci before inking on aesthetic-firming partnerships?
It is not clear what Gucci considers great for the interim. A puzzling autumn/winter 2023 collection that showed more skin than required for the season seemed like a poorly-considered filler. It is possible that fashion folks are waiting for the new Gucci to unveil itself before committing to purchases that would quickly become tired and passé. Perhaps Gucci thinks sneakers have staying power. But the new collaboration still bears the visual exuberance that Mr Michele had desired for the pairing. If there was the possibility that consumers were satiated with that overkill at the time of Mr Michele’s departure, is it not likely that they’re still jelak? Or, conversely, could it be Adidas that needs this pairing more? After killing Yeezy, Adidas projected a staggering operating loss of €700 million for 2023, which would be the brand’s first annual loss in 31 years, as reported. It would appear that Addidas needs to rev things up, even with a temporarily rudderless Gucci.