Adidas Rivalry collection campaign. Photograph courtesy of Adidas.
Who would have ever predicted the sartorial vice grip that sneakers, and sneaker culture, would have on our lives in 2023?
Originally crafted for athletic ventures, the footwear category has since become a wardrobe mainstay, and source of significant investment for so-called “sneakerheads”. Where once the selection of sneakers outside a sports stadium signposted American tourism abroad (as The New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman wrote on the subject, “Shoes may not be the windows to the soul, but for a long time they were the source of national stereotype.”), it’s now as common to spy corporate insiders wearing laced up, rubber soled kicks as it is red carpet attendees and actual athletes.
Australia, to generalise, is a nation that prioritises comfort, so the slow encroachment of sneaker culture was a given. The arrival of Covid-19 in 2020 only compounded our interest for low-maintenance fashion and footwear – a love affair that’s yet to abate.
Here, we’ve rounded up the best new season sneaker releases to keep the home fires burning.
Originating in the eighties as a basketball shoe, the adidas Rivalry silhouette soon transcended sport, intertwining with fashion and street culture. Iconic in music, skate, and streetwear, it symbolised a paradigm shift for adidas Basketball. The brand’s recent relaunch of the model focuses on cultural rivalries and their constructive nature. Boasting a clean leather upper, three stripes, and full-body colours, the Rivalry Low blends modern and retro styles for everyday wear ($150), while the Rivalry 86 Low ($160), modernises a classic, appealing to culture curators with a nod to heritage and premium detailing. Shop at adidas.com.au.
ASICS X Cecilie Bahnsen
ASICS and Cecilie Bahnsen unveil the second drop of their sold-out GT-2160 collaboration, merging feminine elegance with technical expertise. The campaign, shot in Tokyo, captures a noir-ish, sci-fi atmosphere, showcasing the trainers alongside Bahnsen’s Autumn Winter 2023 collection. With 3D textures, bold colours and floral details, the designs are available in two styles, retailing for $300. Accentuating intricate layering and material complexity, the collaboration celebrates the synergy of everyday couture, movement, and ease, in a statement shoe that broadens both brands’ creative horizon. Limited quantities available to shop at asics.com.
New Balance X Aimé Leon Dore
The New York-based brand Aimé Leon Dore, founded in 2014 by Teddy Santis, unveils a new collaborative collection with New Balance this month inspired by the Masaryk Community Gym in NYC’s Lower East Side. Drawing from the 1980s with muted leather uppers, the “Masaryk” Pack showcases a blend of yellowed finishes, green, gold, and navy accents. The creative partnership, rooted in sport and community, reimagines four pairs of New Balance’s 550 and 650 styles. Shop at newbalance.com.au.
Swarovski and Skims team up for a collaborative range of body jewellery. Photograph by Mert Alas.
The Kim Kardashian-co-founded shapewear brand Skims knows no apparent bounds. Not only is the range growing in global devotees, it was recently named the the official underwear partner for the NBA, WNBA, and USA Basketball, and released a collection in collaboration with Fendi.
Lauded for its product range’s body smoothing and enhancing properties, Skims is now venturing into the body jewellery category, courtesy of a collaboration with Swarovski. The highly anticipated collaboration, known as Swarovski x Skims, is set to launch on November 7 at Swarovski’s Westfield Sydney boutique and through Skims’ online platform.
“It’s been a dream since I joined Swarovski to create a first-ever collaboration with SKIMS that furthers the art of self-expression,” says Giovanna Engelbert, the creative director of Swarovski.
“The pieces are so dreamy,” says Kardashian (who is also Skims’ creative director), “and we loved integrating the iconic crystal cuts into my favourite SKIMS pieces.”
The collection features crystal body jewellery and size-inclusive pieces designed to flatter the feminine silhouette. Inspired by Swarovski’s Millenia jewellery collection, these items can be layered over or under garments and paired with matching chokers, necklaces, and bracelets for a show-stopping impact.
In addition to the crystal body jewellery, the collection offers a range of ready-to-wear items, including crystallised intimates, bodysuits, and dresses. These pieces are designed to shine with the brilliance of Swarovski crystals, all while maintaining a focus on empowerment, comfort, and versatility.
The collaboration was unveiled through a photoshoot starring Kardashian, captured by renowned photographer Mert Alas. The images capture the essence of Swarovski x Skims, celebrating individual confidence and representation while exuding artistry and glamour.
See more expert fashion coverage from T Australia:
vest (sold as part of an
jacket, shirt and
Brunello Cucinelli for
com; and stylist’s own
socks (worn throughout).
jacket, shirt, pants and tie;
Brunello Cucinelli for
boots. Photograph by Photograph by Ilya Lipkin.
This is an extract from an article that appears in print in our fifteeth edition, Page 54 of T Australia with the headline: “Outside Influence”
Living under a rock for the past few years wouldn’t excuse a person with internet connectivity from being ignorant of Phoebe Philo’s foray into self-branding. The designer, formerly of Celine and Chloe, is credited with igniting our obsession with quiet luxury through her tactile, intelligent, androgynous take on minimalist dressing. “Real clothes for real women” her fans (self-described “Philophiles”) decreed, worshipping Philo and her designs to cult-like status.
When the British designer announced she would be departing her post as creative director of Celine in 2017, women the world over wailed in disbelief. ‘Who would curate their wardrobes now?’ they asked, establishing Instagram accounts and re-sale sites in her name.
The answer appeared in 2021. Philo, as herself, would take up the mantle – buoyed by support from the LVMH group.
“Her first namesake collection is possibly the most hyped, most anticipated, most gossiped-about new line from a formerly beloved name … well, ever,” writes The New York Times’ fashion director and chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman in her review of the launch.
Two years since the announcement, Philo’s eponymous collection has landed. Within 24 hours nearly all stock from the 150-piece edit has sold out. With such hotly anticipated fanfare, does it live up to the hype? The better question might be: does it even matter?
Presented via a sparsely designed website, Philo’s first edit, A1, is both relaxed and raw, with pieces ranging in size from XS to XL. Interesting trousers meet draped tops, leather jackets and coat dresses. There are forgiving cuts, strong tailoring, a gold “MUM” necklace priced at approximately $7,850. Philo has picked up where she left off, continuing the conversation she started at Celine – speaking to women who know who they are and what they want and can pay to get it. In fact, they have. Most pieces sold out within the first 60 seconds of being live.
Philo could have, should have, anticipated the click frenzy and ordered larger stock runs. But scarcity is precisely her appeal. Her website features no standard ‘About’ page. The brand’s Instagram (boasting 343,000 followers to date) features no posts. Customers were limited to purchasing only one of any piece on the website. In an industry ravenous for content and context, Philo remains staunchly enigmatic, letting her clothes speak for her.
So, again, do they live up to the hype? Sure. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy at this point. And does it matter? Again, sure it does. While most brands fetishise the young, Philo’s garments appear geared towards a more mature clientele (not unlike The Row), somehow making ageing feel like a gift, not a curse.
Even if this was the only metric for success, it’s undoubtedly a win. In Philo’s vision of the future, we trust.
Left: Khaite x Bonpoint cardigan, $360. Right: the Khaite designer Catherine Holstein’s son, Calder, in a Khaite x Bonpoint sweater, $275, and pants, $185, khaite.com. Photograph courtesy of Khaite.
The Khaite designer Catherine Holstein was newly pregnant in the fall of 2022 when the French children’s wear brand Bonpoint reached out to her about collaborating on a capsule collection. Now, the 11 new designs, intended to fit babies and children up to 10 years old and made with materials that are gentle against sensitive skin, are launching on Oct. 25 with a campaign featuring Holstein’s now-seven-month-old son, Calder. Standout pieces include a billowy white cotton top with a ruffled collar, a whimsical red-and-white botanical print skirt and miniature versions of two Khaite mainstays: a double-breasted Tanner blazer and a wool version of the brand’s flare-sleeved Scarlet cardigan. “I’m just amazed at the conversations you can have with kids after the age of three, and what their perspective is,” says Holstein. “I wanted the collection to give them the option to really home in on their individuality.” The pieces most dear to the designer are those inspired by her 1980s childhood. “I had black corduroy overalls that I would wear with suspenders with cars on them and a Fair Isle cardigan. … I really wanted to capture that nostalgia.” From approximately $175, khaite.com and bonpoint.com.