adidas SPEZIAL is back, with a new pre-spring 2022 collection featuring footwear and apparel. Teased on designer Gary Aspden's Instagram earlier in the week, the cult of collectors and fans which surrounds the brand have been waiting with bated breath in anticipation of the next drop. adidas has long-standing ties to culture, whether that be on sports pitches, the street or the stage, and the furore around a new drop from the SPEZIAL line is always pretty outstanding. It's refreshing to see people really obsess over, and be excited by, every detail; it reminds us of why what we wear is important, in case you had forgotten. Whether it be the way we tie our laces, or the way a jacket hangs, the items we dress our bodies in are vital tools in expressing identity. In the past, adidas SPEZIAL have teamed up with musicians including Liam Gallagher, Chronix and New Order, working to make collectible-worthy items which connect back to the local communities adidas first flourished in; just take 2019's Blackburn trainer, for example. Leading up to the premiere of their latest campaign film (watch above) on SHOWstudio, we were more than aware that adidas SPEZIAL fans would potentially try and hack the system to get a glimpse. Luckily, we came out the other side unscathed.
So, let's talk about the new collection. Updated classics are part and parcel when it comes to adidas SPEZIAL; it's a treasure trove for followers of the line, and this pre-seasonal drop is no different, with military aesthetics, technical fabrications and the outdoors serving as a common thread across five trainer silhouettes worked into six styles.
The Moscrop SPZL, Winterhill SPZL and Lothertext SPZL are all reworked takes on adidas SPEZIAL classics. The archive Raider silhouette features its traditional suede accents, now with an updated silhouette and technical Cordura upper, giving us the Moscrop SPZL. The Winterhill SPZL features speckled laces and adi-Tex membrane, whilst as the Lothertex SPZL is described as 'a technical take on the Lotherton silhouette', hence the 'tex'. Designer Gary Aspden previously told SHOWstudio that, 'The one thing that is really important to remember about all of these Adidas shoes is, at the time they were produced they were the ultimate in sporting technology.' In other words, form follows function.
The outdoors theme comes to the fore in the Carnforth SPZL, featuring a full-grain leather upper. New to the adidas family is the Barrowland SPZL, drawing on the football terraces and the dress of the 1980s 'casuals' with a slim, flat silhouette featuring matching gum outsoles and suede uppers.
'The challenge we face in Spezial is how to create something new in that vein that will appeal to this audience and doesn't veer too far from that formula that they know and love', Aspden recently wrote of the collection.
Military influences are referenced in the clothes, with the sell-out zip up Horwich anorak from S/S 17 updated with pocket details in the Barrowland Jacket. Pockets are also front and centre in the Trongate Jacket. Both feature sealed seams, functioning as waterproof outerwear items. The pre-spring 2022 adidas SPZL collection also features updated versions of the Modtrefoil Crew, Meanwood Polo and Anderston Top pieces from previous seasons, featuring adidas trefoil patches.
Calling upon creative consultancy &SON - headed up by Nick Griffiths and Simon Foxton who have shot numerous adidas SPEZIAL campaigns in the past - the new campaign film sees the collection through the kaleidoscopic lights of the city. Nodding to adidas' roots on the street, the brand's unbreakable ties to sport are present in the casting. Three footballers feature in the film, alongside an accompanying series of stills captured by Kevin Cummins; Arsenal F.C.’s Kieran Tierney and Leicester City F.C.’s Hamza Choudhury, and Alfie Devine.