Italian fashion brand Prada is getting sporty with a new, first-of-its-kind collaboration.
Together with German sportswear player Adidas, the duo will launch a collection of technical footwear featuring distinctly Prada twists. While joint efforts in the sporting shoe world are not uncommon, one between the luxury brand and it’s high-performance parener is unprecedented.
“It’s surprising that a performance shoe collaboration between these two brands hasn’t happened before,” said Daymon Bruck, chief creative officer at The O Group, New York.
“There seems to be such a natural synergy between Prada and Adidas in terms of brand values: a mutual focus on cutting-edge style, a streamlined design esthetic, and a passion for performance sports and sportswear.”
Mr. Bruck is not affiliated with Prada, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Prada x Adidas
The trailblazing partnership will see Prada put their mark on three of Adidas’ most popular and established products: the Predator Accuracy, the Copa Pure and the X Crazyfast.
Through the three pairs of soccer shoes seek to combine the two iconic fashion brands’ respective DNAs, with throughlines of Prada’s iconic Linea Rossa, the original luxury athleisure line. The monochromatic designs will incorporate black, white and silver alongside Prada’s signature red iconography.
To be released in men’s and women’s variants on May 25, the collection will release in a limited-time run with a narrow number of products available.
The practice of limited drops is no stranger to luxury or athletic brands. Nike, Jordan Brand and Adidas, among others, have all made limited shoe and clothing drops core parts of their business strategies, with apps designed around the lucrative game plan.
The Prada x Adidas collection will release on the athleisure brand’s “CONFIRMED” app, as well as on Prada’s website and in select Prada stores.
“While these limited drops/exclusive partnerships boost revenue, they do much more,” says Donnie Pacheco, CEO of Donnie P. Consulting, Seattle.
“Because they are limited edition they create a great sense of buzz and urgency since they are limited in quantities and length of availability,” Mr. Pacheco said. “They also allow both partners to tap into the other’s customer group.”
“While there is likely a great deal of crossover already, it will put each brand front and center in front of the other brand’s customer group.”
The limited release practice, while commonplace, is known to be prone to resale bots’ exploitation. The bots are set up by resale groups to buy up as much of the limited stock as possible before flipping products for a steeply inflated price.
You can read more on the botting issue in the New York Times’ reporting.
In order to promote the inaugural collaboration, Adidas has attracted some of soccer’s top global talent.
Customers who manage to get their hands on a pair of shoes from the collaboration will be able to convert them into a digital version in the FIFA 23 video game via a code included in the box. The code also comes with an exclusive black and white kit for players to customize their teams.
“Prada has been very successful with these types of limited collaborations over the past few years, especially when they provide an opportunity to create something original, innovative and highly captivating,” said Mr. Bruck.
The Italian label made headway into the gaming landscape in December 2022 with a partnership with French video game publisher Ubisoft that placed Linea Rossa skiwear in the Riders Republic game for players to customize their characters with (see story).
In August 2022, Adidas forged an alliance with British fashion house Stella McCartney to release a sportswear collection (see story). The assemblage also featured shoes, similar to the current Prada collaboration.
Original article published in Luxury Daily, May 25, 2023