Right now in fashion, you can't swing a stick without hitting some kind of designer/sportswear hook up. As Cottweiler - the London label run by Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty, who are skilled at bringing a certain chilliness and conceptuality to the usually brash London sportswear world - debuted their new collaboration with Reebok at Florentine trade show Pitti Uomo, over one thousand miles away Gosha Rubchinskiy was showing his Autumn/Winter 2017 collection in Kaliningrad in his native country of Russia, debuting a new collaboration with adidas Football. Bold move. Last season Rubchinskiy showed at Pitti. To schedule his show at the same time, stealing valuable press and attention, was quite the statement. But a give-a-fuck, two-fingers-up attitude is part of the Gosha appeal. Poor team Pitti. What a way to say thanks. Were the Cottweiler boys bothered? It didn’t seem so. In fact they seemed to be feeling especially zen if the spa theme of this collection was anything to go by. In the striking setting of the Museo Marino Marini, models stood or lay, massage-ready, in clean, crisp pieces that looked almost space age due to their purity. The white looks had the most punch, cosy in one part due to the use of towelling, intimidating in another due to sense of confidence and nonchalance that comes easily to the new menswear peacock who likes to make statements with tracksuits rather than suits.
There’s always a worry when young labels who focus on a sporty silhouettes team up on a collaboration of this kind. Will they cannibalise their own market? I’d bet that many young fashion fans will be thrilled to be able to access Cottwieler designs at the snip of a price. Indeed, while one of the given inspirations for this collection was sports aftercare, one can bet that no athletes will have a chance to get their hands on this - it will sell out to style not sports fans. But here’s hoping that this collection serves to grow awareness around the Cottweiler brand and pull in even more fans. As fashion hook-ups go, this was a match made in heaven - timely, well-executed and on brand for both teams playing.