If you're one of many die-hard adidas SPEZIAL fans, we've got some good news: the sought-after brand is back with their A/W 23 collection featuring footwear and apparel. The next coveted drop will launch on 16 November. As a wise man once said, the devil is in the details, and no one knows this better than SPEZIAL's Gary Aspden, who has elevated previous beloved designs like the 2022 Moscrop 2 SPZL, the Hiaven SPZL and the certified adidas icon Samba Deco SPZL for A/W 23. After all, what feels new doesn't have to neglect everything that has come before.
The adidas SPEZIAL A/W 23 collection features an array of apparel and comprises seven footwear offerings, and is showcased in a campaign film. Conceived by the creative practice &SON, headed up by Nick Griffiths and Simon Foxton, the campaign provides an introspective look at the nation's adored football icon, Roy Keane. Setting forth a deeply personal portrait of one of the game's most recognisable figures, the campaign film goes beyond the pundit and the player to explore the man himself as he's seen taking his beloved dog Jet for a walk while shrouded in the awe-inspiring landscape of the Lake District. Aspden also called upon adidas collaborator Kevin Cummins to capture Keane in a series of stills.
'[Roy Keane] is uncompromising in what he does, which is a real quality - and one that requires true courage. I see adidas SPEZIAL as a range that has never pandered to trends', Aspden exclusively tells SHOWstudio. 'Like Roy, it has consistency and is unwavering in its approach. Roy naturally looks good and doesn't waste energy on trying to be seen as cool or some style leader. He is not someone you would expect to do a film like this, and that fact makes his presence all the more powerful'.
'Roy has worn it [SPEZIAL] in past seasons, so there was also that existing synergy there. He prides himself on his scarcity - a very particular man on what he endorses - so we were over the moon when he agreed to work with us on this. There is a truth about him which I guess makes him ideal as an ambassador for adidas SPEZIAL.'
Keane joins a host of other famous faces who have previously featured in the brand's campaign videos, including musicians Liam Gallagher, Chronixx and New Order, all of whom have worked to make collectible-worthy items which connect back to the local communities adidas first flourished in; just take 2019's Blackburn trainer, for example. (Oh the irony of Aspden's favourite football team Blackburn Rovers narrowly missing out on signing Keane as a player!)
As for the collection Keane can be seen sporting in the campaign film, it's a true treasure trove for followers of the line as a series of upcycled fabrics and elevated styles steal the show. In short, it's a collector's dream.
The ever-popular Haslingden jacket and Moorfield Anorak lead the A/W 23 line, the latter of which has been completed with a durable, water-resistant finish. In addition to these styles, there's also the gold embellished versatile liner, known to those in the know as the Topfield, which features the Mod Trefoil embroidered branding on the back and is interchangeable between both aforementioned styles. Not the only place this logo appears, the Sudell TT and TP tracksuits have also been elevated to include this distinct branding in a wrap-around mountain graphic.
Completing the collection are a multitude of seasonal accessories, including a beanie and chilcott hat. As well as the footwear styles mentioned above, there's also an an evolution of the Carnforth SPZL - the Inverness SPZL - in a dark brown colourway to marry up with the Haslingden jacket. Then there's the Englewood SPZL; a low-top court shoe with a campus 80s tooling that reinvents the late 80s Galaxy ll high top boot. Last but not least, there's the Lawkholme SPZL for all those looking for a sophisticated sportswear approach which deconstructs the aesthetics of 80s running shoes, just like the vintage adidas Zaza.
Speaking of the concrete evolution of SPZL as a range and community in itself, Aspden noted that this A/W 23 film is 'like a new chapter in an ongoing story', a story he is 'very proud of, as we have consistently worked on creating these films with our friends at &SON. I believe are benefits from this ongoing approach - there is a trust that is built from the experience of working over time in this way.' If you were to ever wonder how to organically build a community and network of collaborators through fashion and sports, look no further than adidas SPEZIAL, whose fans are just as important to them as those who star in their films.
The collection launches on 16 November 2023 and is available through the adidas Confirmed app and select retailers.