Y-3 Sports was announced back in September to be the next collaborative brainchild of adidas and Yohji Yamamoto. Stepping into the arena of performance-driven wear using the groundbreaking innovations to grace adidas, the sportswear collection will drop on April 15. In anticipation of the momentous release, Y-3 turned to director Nathalie Canguilhem and i-D’s Alastair McKimm to create “There Are No Rules.” See the i-D created-film above and check out an interview with Senior Design Director Lawrence Midwood below.
Why did you decide it was time to launch a sport specific collection?
It is something we have talked about for a long time. Together with Yohji and his team. The idea of bringing Y-3 into the arena of sport was something that we often considered or discussed as an exciting challenge for the brand. We have flirted with that at times over the years with a great sense of satisfaction and pride in what we achieved. In 2015 we felt the time was right to approach it holistically in the form of this first capsule collection.
What makes Y-3 SPORT so distinctive?
Three things. Firstly it has been designed and manufactured without compromise. We took the position that our consumer is absolutely NOT willing to compromise their look or style to do sport. Whatever that sport may be. We naturally benefit from decades of adidas’s innovation and expertise but we set out to push those technologies and features as far as possible without ever compromising the look and aesthetics of the products.
Secondly we approached the manufacturing of the garments as seriously and boldly as we did the design. We sought out factories and construction techniques that are at the cutting edge of manufacturing. Working together with both adidas and factory technicians to collectively push each garment or shoe as far as possible. Many of those discoveries changed the whole look of the product and resulted in the extremely distinctive look the products have.
And last but not least Yohji Yamamoto and his team. Together we worked and reworked each idea over and over again, challenging ourselves and constantly asking the question ‘Is this idea good enough?’
To us as a team it was very important that if Y-3 was to enter this arena we had to do so in the right way. Pushing the limits of all elements of the products.
What statement does the collection make?
The Y-3 SPORT ideal is really about finding an alternative to the established sportswear staples. Offering our consumer something different, something created purely with them in mind and not conforming at all to the established rules or methodologies.
What led you to design the collection for wider pursuits, rather than pre-determined sports activity?
Very simple: We didn’t want to preach to people. “Oh ok, you are a runner so you need to dress like a runner, because that is how runners dress…..right?”
Well perhaps no… at least for our consumer we wanted to offer a different perspective on that. Something they may identify with more, than looking like everyone else.
Because of this and a belief that people today want sportswear that they can do multiple sports in whilst looking and feeling great, we decided to focus on the function of the garments alongside versatility instead of putting our consumer into a box.
How closely did you work with Yohji Yamamoto and his team on the development of Y-3 SPORT?
Very closely. From the first conception of the brand as an idea and an ideal through to the many many prototypes we made. Yohji also directly challenged some of the first ideas. Asking very early on in the process when we got too caught up in a particular detail on the initial prototypes: “But why? Why do we need this? ” Which in turn, led us to relook at that particular facete of the collection and remove it entirely to not overcomplicate the garments…
Can you tell us about the key innovations in the new collection?
The collection showcases the best of adidas’ technologies and functionalities and redefines them for the Y-3 SPORT consumer with innovations such as bonded construction, seamless knits and laser cut ventilation through heat mapping being incorporated.
What are the key technologies and materials used across the Y-3 SPORT collection?
Y-3 worked with various adidas divisions to offer completely new versions of: Terrex Boost, Boost ZG and adidas Boost. Primeknit, Adizero, tech fit, laser cut ventilation, and bonded constructions are other design attributes seen in the range.