Craft / September 2017

Henry Poole x Adidas: Merging Streetwear with Tailoring

The latest collaboration between Henry Poole, Adidas Originals and Fox Brothers marks the beginning of a new age of craftsmanship, menswear, sartorialism and technology.

Henry Poole’s Adidas Originals NMD R2 feature cloth made by Fox Brothers and Adidas’ trademark ‘Boost’ sole.

On the surface, Henry Poole and Adidas appear on the opposite ends of the menswear spectrum, yet surprisingly, they share many overlapping qualities that prove there’s more in common between them than you might first think. They are both true innovators in their own respective categories, who make use of materials (both natural and synthetic) of the highest calibre, and create products that aim to enhance one’s life in many capacities. So, a collaboration between the two is actually genius, rather than outlandish.

In late 2015, Adidas released the NMD sneaker to critical acclaim. Designed by Nic Galway, Vice President of Global Design at Adidas Originals, this everyday sneaker is inspired by three running models from the 1980s: the Micro Pacer, the Rising Star and the Boston Super. Founded in 1949 by Adi Dassler, as the 20th century drew to a close Adidas had asserted itself as the dominant leader in sports and lifestyle footwear and apparel. As such, when it comes to inspiration, resisting a dip into the archives would have been nonsensical, which is ironic, as the NMD looks is a profoundly contemporary design. The NMD features a Boost sole: a patented invention that’s made from thousands of specially formulated foam pellets, known as energy capsules, to give maximum cushioning and return of spent energy. Adidas’ success in leapfrogging Nike in recent years can largely be credited to this innovative technical detail.

The seed of the collaboration germinated around 18 months ago when Henry Poole customer Patrick Reinhardt, Global Senior Product Manager of Adidas, asked for some cloth to experiment with. “He realised that there's probably a story here of bringing a collaboration together with the substance and historic value using modern technology and modern approach,” Simon Cundey, Managing Director of Henry Poole, explains. And so it begun, and with the help of sneaker chain Size?, the pair created two limited edition sneakers.

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Benedict Browne

Benedict is The Rake's Associate Style Editor.