Fashion moves to a circular rhythm. Trends come and go — and then come again. Brands evolve with the times, then take a step back to decades of the past (at least on an aesthetic level). Nothing is ever really gone — and subsequently, everything will make a re-appearance, at least once. Thus seems to be the case with Adidas — that little-but-big sporting goods store that epitomized the definitions of "chav" in Britain and "soccer-jock" in America all through the 90s and the early Millennium. (Does its name stand for "All Day I Dream About Soccer" — I've always wanted to know). Because this just in: Adidas has teamed up with Anti-Agency, otherwise known as the non-modeling modeling agency. And Adidas x Anti-Agency is all about the exploration of our multi-faceted personas.
I associate a lot of early adolescence with Adidas. I played soccer as a pre-teen. I went to school with many a black and white tracksuit wearing lad. It was everywhere. And I grew to hate it — associating the retailer with crowds I wanted nothing to do with (stereotypical on my part perhaps, but hey, nobody's immune to psychological association). But I don't know. Something about this new collaboration (announced in conjunction with the brand's release of the Superstar SS15 sneaker) seems like a bit of a transformation for the better.
Granted, those black and white striped tracksuits are still an unfortunate thing — and this new collection is not immune. However, I ask you to ignore this fact for a moment and consider the rest of the apparel: Plaid, pleather, pastels and prints reign. It all kind of feels like a step away from the "everyone who wears Adidas must be a sporty street-style-donning, IDGAF-clad teenager" mentality, and more of a step toward the "young women can be whomever they want to be" one. And the latter is, let's face it, the far, far more important ideology.
Based in the UK, Anti-Agency is a modeling agency unlike any other (except, perhaps, Ugly Models). Making headlines last year because of their no-nonsense attitude when it comes to the modeling and fashion industries, Anti-Agency remains a source for an alternative kind of advertising — maybe a more real kind of advertising. As stated on their website:
Our models aren’t just clothes horses; we focus on hand selecting London based girls and boys with personality, individual style and talent…The agency is for people who could’ve been models and decided not to, for people who are too cool to be models and people with real lives...
Now, I know. All the young women in the new Adidas campaign fit part of the standard mold when it comes to modeling. They're young (derr), they're very thin and they've got traditionally beautiful faces. However, they are a diverse group. And at the end of the day, it's their attitude that is most striking. They're not trying to be the "troubled rule breakers" ditching history class for a joint on the roof. Nor are they trying to be Homecoming Queen. Being a teenager is complicated. It can be messy and gross and wild and weird. And I guess these ensembles represent that (even with the tracksuits).
The thing is — women, and especially young women, are often taught that they can only aspire to one thing. They can be fashionistas, but not literary gurus. They can be lawyers, but not bell-bottomed boho babes on the side. It seems silly written out. I mean, humans are more than just one thing. But often, that simple message is one that doesn't make its way into the whole "growing up" business, and we're forced into far more homogenous ways of existence. So I can't help but love collaborations like this. Collaborations that, perhaps, instill the knowledge that being more than one thing is the most bad ass trait of all. Because there's more to dream about than just soccer.
Images: Adidas/Olivia Richardson