During Milan's Salone de Mobile this past April, British industrial designer Tom Dixon first introduced his debut collaboration with German sporting giant Adidas. In the months following, the Adidas by Tom Dixon SS14 collection popped up at both Pitti Uomo in Florence and London Design Festival. On view for a few days only to those in the know, the sneak peeks garnered a great deal of buzz—only to leave everyone wondering when the designs would surface again. Keen to keep on top of the collaboration, we recently had the exclusive opportunity to view the collection—dubbed "The Capsule"—in its entirety as we approach the tentative December 2013 release date. The first-hand look led to a better understanding of the versatile range of unisex, transformable bags, boots and clothing. Designed with the spontaneous contemporary traveler in mind, the trans-seasonal range offers exactly what one needs for an unexpected week away from home.
From a designer who claims to have "never owned a single piece of branded sports clothing by any company," the collection seamlessly blends the two brands' talents to create a collection that's both fashionable and technical without being directly sports-inspired—think more Y-3 than Stella. And while we've seen the collection from afar, when the rough hewn edges and clean, sharp seams are in your hands it's an entirely different experience. Playing with the garments reveals the extent of their functionality; most pieces are reversible and come with unfinished edges to allow for the ultimate in adaptability, essentially it's DIY tailoring.
As it was in Milan, the footwear is still pleasing (made of just two elements and secured in place with a single strip of stitched PVC tape) and the crowd favorite down coat-slash-sleeping bag. This design allows the tail-end to be snapped into place around the chest, thus doubling the insulation and hiding the length when in jacket form. As for pieces that weren't seen previously, the utilitarian sci-fi-esque jacket and pants combo were particularly appealing, as was the ultra light jacket. The bright, slightly transparent anorak is made of seemingly weightless ripstop fabric that packs down to the size of a soda can to provide a bit of last second shelter when the weather turns foul.
In typical Tom Dixon fashion, the entire collection sticks to a simple color scheme with subtle, mindful detailing—fused pocket seams and solid copper bag zips, pants buttons and shoelace tabs. Expect the Adidas by Tom Dixon SS14 collection in stores and online at East Dane in early December. Until then, have a closer look at individual garment details and the remainder of the collection in the slideshow.
Unless otherwise noted, all photos by Graham Hiemstra