Wales Bonner’s New ’80s-Inspired Collection for Adidas Arrives Today

  • 66

The much-anticipated return of the Wales Bonner and Adidas Originals partnership is here.

After the first collaboration, released last fall, all but sold out, many have their sights set on scooping something up from this next collection. Entitled “Essence,” the second collaboration was first teased at Paris men’s fashion week in September 2020—when Adidas pieces were seamlessly interwoven into the Wales Bonner’s spring 2021 collection.

On joining forces with Adidas, designer Grace Wales Bonner explains that the uncertainty brought on by the global health crisis allowed her time for “reflection and working on what feels most essential for the business,” she says. “Designing this collection has been about refining, to the purest elements, the Wales Bonner world and wardrobe.”

Known for her thoughtful approach and craftsmanship, Bonner has consistently illustrated how fashion can communicate complex ideas. “An essential point to my practice is research. I see that as the foundation to everything I do,” explains the British designer.

In her inaugural and deeply personal debut collection with Adidas Originals, the designer explored the British-Jamaican community in London in the ’70s, mining her father and his friends’ wardrobes for inspiration. The latest collection moves up in time and is dedicated to Jamaica in the early ’80s, the diasporic connection between Britain and the Caribbean, and the origin of dancehall music. “There is a dancehall vibrancy to the collection, translating into hybrid sports tailoring,” the designer explains. She continues to point out the use of lush green and sunshine yellow colors, “accents [that] echo the colors of the Jamaican flag.”

The uni-sex collection (“Silhouettes are presented with a fluidity that works for both menswear and womenswear,” she says) also offers footwear. The designer remixes Adidas’s thrice striped Samba shoe—an accessory that she believes to be a crucial element of the collection. “The Samba trainers have a rich football heritage and they naturally integrated and transformed the wardrobes of many cultural icons,” she says. “It felt like a natural choice as they were present in much of my research.”

Bonner’s personal favorite? A blue tartan tracksuit that smartly fuses notes of tailoring with a retro trackwear silhouette. This, and the rest of the collection, drops today. Shop it here, below.