Y-3 : Pushing Boundaries
Here’s our look at the latest Adidas Y-3 Spring/Summer releases for 2016. Decided to do some drawings deconstructing a selection of my favourite silhouettes from the latest range. Prolific Japanese designer, Yohji Yamamoto’s affiliation with the Adidas brand stretches over a decade now, Y-3 becoming known for pushing the envelope with high quality materials and conceptual design aesthetic.
Yamamoto doesn’t care for current trends in fashion, lauded for his avant-garde approach, knowingly working to his own rhythm. He pulls inspiration from the everyday, the process, whilst striving to create something timeless. As a result, interest in the line has most likely been waxing and waning in it’s life time. My desire for Y-3 products, again, stems from the over arching monochromatic design language. Most iterations of Yamamoto designs have had this thread running throughout regardless of the materials implored or the particular silhouette on offer. The first pair I sought out were the Honja Lows back in, I want to say, 2008? They were a pair in all black, tumbled leather with suede accents. The shoes were stunning on and off foot. The quality of the materials, the hidden laces and sleek profile all justified the hefty price tag but alas as an art college student living on noodles, I couldn’t bring myself to fork out the £185.00 so I could leave with them. That experience, however, made me realise the value in well made, beautifully designed shoes.
The picks from the latest releases show how that appreciation has grown. The Qasa Highs, which as far as I know were actually a Nic Galway (VP of Global Design) design, exemplify this mix of innovation and high quality materials perfectly. That said, the Yamamoto stamp of approval is a big deal. Nic’s approach, much like Yohji’s is to look back whilst aiming forward. The tubular sole worked out by delving into some early Adidas archive designs. The success of this model bred the Originals Tubular Runner design, which shares many aspects save for the tumbled leather and waxed laces. There’s a nod to the ZX 7000 heel cage which saw a comeback in a big way with the ZX Flux. It seems like Adidas are giving every type of customer a gateway to their design by allowing this design to filter down.
Some of the other designs worthy of note, the Kyujo High and Low. The Highs actually come off like a couture level Crazy 8 which isn’t a bad thing at all. It goes without saying that the Pure Boost ZGs will probably make a big impact as there seems to be a peak in interest for any sort of prime knit/boost models especially when they’re championed by high profile sport stars and celebrities as casual footwear. I think it’ll be interesting to see how Adidas carries through with the Y-3 brand over the next decade. The possibility of increasing sales of this fashion led off-shoot is a smart strategy by borrowing design language for the runners you'll find in high street stores. You can click on any of the pictures to carry you through to a pre-order for the releases, due at the end of March. Cheers for reading.