Home Adidas shoes Craig Green discusses adidas SS23 collab

Craig Green discusses adidas SS23 collab


Like Craig Green’s collaboration with adidas enters its seventh season, their work together is getting better and better. The latest collaboration, which was unveiled as part of Green’s Spring/Summer 2023 show in Paris, featured the Stan Smith and Retropy silhouettes, incorporating the themes of uniform, protection and masculinity that feature regularly in the Green’s work.

“A lot of the ideas in the collection are still about protection, but this season was a different protection theme,” Green told HYPEBEAST after the show. “The start of the collection came from an image we found of the most decorated man in the Guinness Book of World Records? The term ‘decorated man’ itself has an interesting double meaning, because usually you decorate something to make it look better. We were thinking about the things you aspire to, as you get older, the man you think you’re going to be, and the things you think you’re going to get. This refers to protecting a conceptually, you are protected by the things you gain as you age.

The collection, and with it this season’s adidas collaboration, was also influenced by the show’s backdrop, the Musée de L’Homme. “It’s an anthropological museum exploring different ideas about masculinity and men,” Green continues. “That idea really ties into what we were exploring in the collection, and that helped inform it. Those ideas also tie into the shoes, how they were constructed, and the materials used.

“Sometimes when you have too many options, it gets in the way of the creative process.”

For the shoes in the collection, Green revisited arguably adidas’ most well-known silhouette, taking the Stan Smith and twisting it in several different directions. “It’s one of adidas’ signature shapes, and we always try to use icons in our collection,” adds Green. “This season we considered the suit to be an icon of clothing, so it just felt right to take something iconic from adidas and twist it the same way we twist the suit: take something traditional or iconic and challenge what it might be.”

The Stan Smith comes in a number of constructions, including the Stan Smith BOOST – featuring an all-BOOST constructed upper – as well as the “Split Stan” and “Flat Stan” sandals. Likewise, the Retropy received a BOOST-focused redesign, with the technology used throughout the race-inspired silhouette.

“Previously, we’ve worked with multiple adidas shoes in one show, but it just felt right to stay a bit more focused this season and work within the boundaries,” Green continues. “If you only have the Stan Smith, what can you do with it? Working within limits is such an interesting way to work. Sometimes when you have too many options it gets in the way of the creative process.

Along with wearable adaptations of the Stan Smith and the Retropy, both silhouettes have also arrived in more concept designs. This approach also referenced Green’s larger collection and how it was presented. “The same way we build the collections, the sculptural element is so important,” he says. “We always have a more conceptual and sculptural side to the collections, but we compensate for that with something very accessible and understandable. Sculptures are more interesting because there’s something approachable about them, and clothes are more interesting because there’s something sculptural about them. Playing between these two extremes is always very important in the way we develop collections and it’s the same with shoes. You have to have the storytelling aspect to understand the affordable, and the affordable to understand the storytelling aspect.

This approach is also the cornerstone of Green’s work with adidas, which has spanned more than three years. “They encourage this experimentation and allow us to do extreme things as well as develop products that people can access,” he says. As the partnership continues to evolve, the past three years of experimentation and collaboration have laid a solid foundation.

“Over time, the relationship only gets stronger because you learn to work with each other in the best way possible,” Green concludes. “After all these seasons, we know each other very well and we know that we can work in such a way as to push the ideas further and further. The relationship has solidified and we understand the way we both like to work, and we understand how to best balance both aesthetics.