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Can Nike and Adidas be both performance and fashion based?


(L) Karlie Kloss modelling Pedro Lourenço for Nike, (R) Mary Katrantzou x Adidas | Source: Nike, Adidas

(L) Karlie Kloss modelling Pedro Lourenço for Nike, (R) Mary Katrantzou x Adidas | Source: Nike, Adidas

More and more Nike and Adidas seem to be focusing on the fashion elements of their businesses.  While many of their products clearly are designed with a blend of performance and style, it becomes more and more obvious that quite a few of their products are designed with the thought that they will never see a drop of sweat.  The collaborations with stars from the athletic, music and fashion industries leave little doubt that form rules over function.

Does this reduce the consumers desire to brand themselves with the swoosh or three stripes because of a reducing level of performance credibility or drive consumption as we seek the coolest, newest look.  Clearly the every increasing billions that these global giants are raking in suggests the latter.

Robin Mellery-Pratt at Business of Fashion takes a closer look…

On Monday, Nike launched a new capsule collection, dubbed NikeLab x JFS, with Berlin-based Acronym designer Johanna F. Schneider. On Thursday evening, at Paris men’s fashion week, Adidas is set to unveil a new collaboration with Junichi Abe’s Kolor. Together, the launches are the latest in a crescendo of fashion-related activities by the world’s top sportswear brands, whose core identities have long been more squarely rooted in athletic performance.

Traditionally aligned with athletes, Nike recently began working with fashion model Karlie Kloss on a major women’s marketing campaign. Though Kloss is a former ballet dancer who practices yoga, the company has never before partnered with a fashion model on this kind of scale. What’s more, in October, Nike staged a high-profile fashion show in New York as part of its “Women’s Innovation Summit” — attended by scores of fashion editors and featuring Kloss and a small army of models — to unveil its collaboration with Brazilian designer Pedro Lourenço.

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