adidas Originals and Donald Glover officially launch Donald Glover Presents, revealing the fruits of a creative relationship that began in September 2018. With storytelling at the heart of the partnership, Glover and adidas Originals unveiled a range of new product offerings alongside the premiere of a series of short films.
Donald Glover Presents reimagines three classic adidas styles, the Nizza, the Continental 80, and the Lacombe, in subtle, tone-on-tone white canvas. With a focus on the personal narrative that worn-in sneakers can hold, and the wealth of experiences they bear, the collection is inspired by subtle imperfections.
“Rich is a concept,” said Donald Glover. “With this project, I wanted to encourage people to think about how their stories can be told on their feet. Value isn’t quantified by what you wear, rather the experiences from them. And you make the decision on what works for you, you live through your own lens. The partnership for me is about being able to exemplify what doing your own thing truly looks and feels like.”
Seeking to tell a story through design, the shoes feature a series of deconstructed details, like uneven stitching, inside-out golden eyestays, and a custom 3-Stripe mark that evokes hand-painting. Heightening a sense of depth and character, the edges of the canvas are not stitched down, allowing them to fray over time. Further bringing the theme of wear to life, a moth – the symbol of the collaboration – appears on the heel bumpers and insoles of the footwear. Each pair arrives inside an inside-out adidas Originals box that opens with a tear strip and comes replete with three sets of custom shoelaces designed to fringe with wear.
“Our partnerships are built on a foundation of creating moments of inspiration that we could not achieve alone,” explained Chris Law, Senior Design Director – adidas Originals. “As a visionary, we admire Glover’s capability to surpass ‘genres’ and uniquely tell a story. From a design perspective, we drove the aesthetic of this collection based on adidas’ rich history in classic sneakers and Glover’s philosophy of understated points of interest and appreciation for how shoes evolve with wear, expressing more personality over time. Between Glover’s artistic vision and our expertise, we will continue to evolve and look forward to where that takes us.”
Coinciding with the product launch, Donald Glover and adidas premiered a series of short films, starring Glover and actress-comedian Mo’Nique with a cameo by professional skateboarder Na-Kel Smith, produced by Sylvia Zakhary of Mamag Studios with Wolf Taylor and Fam Rothstein of Royalty and Wolf and Rothstein.
The films, written by Jamal Olori of Royalty with Sam Jay, bring to life a story of defiance, subversion, and creative expression. Embracing acts of fate as opportunities for honesty, growth, and understanding, the films show that worn shoes are not merely “dirty”; they are a reflection of one’s personal experiences. The series is directed by Ibra Ake of Royalty, supported by creative consultant, Sing J Lee of Mamag Studios.
In their efforts to equalize creative access, Glover and adidas Originals chose to unveil the films directly to the young people who continue to inspire them. Tapping into a community of creatives and loyalists, they brought together an eclectic group of people that had the opportunity to interact with Glover on a personal level and experience the films first hand. Celebrating the occasion and emphasizing the ethos of the creative partnership, Glover hosted an inverted Q+A, giving those in attendance the ability to ask their own questions and initiate a conversation.
The Donald Glover Presents film series will release on April 18th and footwear will be available globally on April 26th.