When adidas called it did not take us long to say yes to working on a project with them. adidas, of course, is a big global brand and make some great products, but it was more about the reasons they asked us and their commitment to the project that impressed us most.
It was in the summer of 2018 when adidas asked me to get involved with their running team based at their HQ, in Germany, to talk about what I wanted to make in a running kit if we worked together. They really wanted to collaborate with designers who were real runners and could bring that understanding of the sport into the project and running has been a part of my life for over 30 years. It was a chance to design something real from a genuine love of running, not just a cosmetic makeover. adidas both respected and welcomed that integrity to making the project ‘real’. It was this stance that attracted us and convinced us, a small independent clothing company to work with the mighty adidas and the process has not disappointed, we have enjoyed working with them and that early commitment and honesty has been there throughout.
On a personal level, as the designer at Universal Works, adidas had been part of my life since a young boy, my first sneakers were 'Sambas', worn both on the five-a-side pitch and on the football terraces. I have had an affection for the brand since then and when the running team came to speak with me, I was already doing my daily runs in Boost technology. So, it all seems to fit, and for me, it was a real pleasure to work with the adidas technical team and an honor to put 3 stripes on some Universal Works designs.
Running for me was never a competitive sport, I came to try to get fitter to play better football, I’m not sure the football improved but I enjoyed the running! Happy as I was to run, I was never trying to be the fastest or to beat anyone, but just to get outside, forget my day-to-day issues, and run. As part of the Universal Works 'Sports and Social Club', we enjoy running, but of course, we still want to look good while we do that. We want our shoes and kit to be great performing but great looking too. I still want to look the part in the coffee shop after the run!!
Over a year after that first meeting, we will be launching our collection as part of the RUN CITY PACK in November 2019 and you can see the result in a short movie we made with adidas to showcase the collaboration. We are really happy with the results.