In recent years, Adidas has multiplied the number of prestigious collaborations. Among sports stars, showbiz celebrities and luxury brand capsule collections, Adidas confirms its premium ambitions. An equipment manufacturer’s move to higher markets benefits from a favorable context. Indeed, sportswear has definitely earned its place in the world of luxury. Adidas is now well positioned to match traditional luxury brands.
Health crisis, production stopped: 2021, the year of all dangers for Adidas
The world of luxury has benefited from a huge economic recovery despite the health crisis. But sportswear, for its part, is struggling. Adidas is one of the most affected brands. After 2020, which was heavily affected by the health crisis, 2021 further undermined the equipment manufacturer’s results. In 2021, Adidas losses are estimated at 1.2 billion euros. Cause? Production almost stopped in the second half of 2021. 28% of Adidas production depends on factories in Vietnam, many of which have been closed for health reasons. Thus, the brand was unable to maintain normal production levels. And deliveries of his best-selling models were completely thwarted. In addition, new models have not appeared for too long, which should return customers to stores.
In this context, the sustainability of the world of luxury makes the entire fashion industry dream. And the sports equipment manufacturer is well positioned to capitalize on this advantage if it accelerates its market penetration. The topic has been discussed for several years. Adidas has been cautiously promoting its assets in the luxury market. And his goal for 2022 is clear: to flesh out this move in the marketplace in order to track growth in sales of premium goods.
From Beyoncé to Prada: how Adidas built its premium strategy
In a way, Adidas’ expertise in sports muses was critical to its success in reaching a higher market. The equipment manufacturer is accustomed to working on its desirability with the help of sports stars. To expand its fame, the cloverleaf brand did not hesitate to seek the help of exceptional reinforcements.
Adidas has signed a partnership with Beyoncé for her Ivy Park sportswear brand. On February 9, the Beyoncé and Adidas collaboration made a splash with the release of the exclusive Ivy Heart collection. This special collection for Valentine’s Day 2022 featured several sporty pieces in the colors of love, from red to pink. The advantage of this collection: a casual sporty style of clothing that can seduce a wide audience, and far from the technical clothing that Adidas usually offers.
At the same time, Adidas continues its projects with several luxury brands. Since 2019, Adidas has partnered regularly with Prada to create absolutely chic sportswear collections. The final touch for today: Last January, Prada and Adidas launched an environmentally responsible project to use recycled nylon. The two brands also launched a joint NFT project.
Increasing interdependence between sportswear and luxury goods
Collaborations between sports and luxury brands began to multiply even before the health crisis. Luxury houses in search of a second youth wanted to seduce millennials with their own sneaker models, their own athletic silhouettes. Sports brands have been playing this game for the most part, and the recent luxury skiwear trend proves it once again. In this regard, the health crisis has served as an accelerator. Sportswear is more popular than ever with consumers looking for more comfortable fashion, more free from classic styles.
Rather than continue to depend on luxury brands, many sports equipment manufacturers dream of entering a higher market. But for Nike or Le Coq Sportif, the step is still high. And in this race for luxury, Adidas is by far the best sports brand.
Adidas plays by the rules of luxury
Proof of his recent collaboration with Gucci. At the end of February, at Milan Fashion Week, the new Adidas and Gucci collaboration was presented on the catwalk of the Italian house. Even better, they feature a unique logo that pairs Adidas cloverleaf with Gucci wording. Adidas does not want to play extras, but intends to make itself known in the luxury goods segment. Proof of this is the capsule collection, which is far from a sports wardrobe and shows a much more urban and “fashionable” style.
Adidas has also shown its understanding of luxury issues by positioning itself in line with its lifestyle vision for its brand. In December 2020, the sports equipment manufacturer collaborated with the German porcelain house Meissen. Together they made a pair of porcelain sneakers sold at Sotheby’s. Stylish exercise aside, Adidas could count on the hype generated by this $1 million pair of shoes. And thereby prove his perfect understanding of the logic of exclusivity, characteristic of luxury.