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Gazelle x Gucci

Ever since the release of the adidas Gazelle back in 1966, it has been a mainstay of the brand’s sneaker output. Originally designed as a training shoe, it is now part of the adidas Originals lineup of heritage silhouettes, which is a reflection of its timeless aesthetic and lasting popularity. Its use of bold but simple colour schemes and high-quality materials like leather and suede has seen the Gazelle favoured by celebrities, sports stars, musicians and even royalty. In 2022, the silhouette’s incredible legacy culminated in one of adidas’ most luxurious sneaker collections: the adidas Gazelle by Gucci.

Adidas and Gucci revealed the first versions of the adidas Gazelle x Gucci at the Italian fashion house’s Autumn/Winter 2022 ‘Exquisite’ show, when Gucci’s models hit the runway in items from a larger collection of apparel designed by its Creative Director, Alessandro Michele. He had been a fan of the Gazelle for years and used old adidas catalogues from the late 1970s as inspiration for the first set of men’s and women’s colourways. Michele skilfully blended high fashion with the streetwear feeling of the original silhouette, creating a series of adidas Gucci Gazelle sneakers in a kaleidoscope of colours that exude classy, retro vibes. Chic branding effects appear across the collection, with custom Gucci Trefoil logos on the tongue, heel, midsole and insole, the last of which features elegant text that references “The brand with the 3 stripes” and reveals that the shoes were “made in italy”.

Released in summer 2022, the first colourways came in a range of refined materials, with several coated in plush velvet. There was the Red Velvet, with its white three-stripes logos and heel panel, the Yellow Velvet, whose red accents create a compelling tonal contrast on the flanks and heel, and the Pink Velvet, which has black sidewall logos and a green heel tab. Two more models, the verdant Green Suede and the Light Blue Suede, whose blue upper and yellow three-stripes are accompanied by a red heel tab, also blend velvet on the upper with suede on the eyestay and toe overlay, while the Light Blue Silk incorporates the titular material across its upper to go with its pink heel panel, red laces and translucent turquoise cupsole. The remaining designs in this first run of Gazelles went for a different set of materials, the White colourway opting for leather on its white, blue and red outer, and the GG Monogram employing a suave brown canvas covered in a GG pattern that even extends to the midsole.  

The initial run of the adidas Gazelle x Gucci  was a huge success, and the brands came together again throughout 2022 to produce new iterations of the collaborative sneaker. There were two leather-clad designs: the White Green Red and the Black Green Red, so named for their neutral base layers, green heel tabs, red laces and the green and red three-stripes logos on their flanks. The Yellow Velvet Green, the Purple Velvet, the Light Pink Velvet and the Burgundy Velvet came out as variations on the earlier velvet editions, the first with black sidewall logos, light brown suede overlays and purple laces, the others blanketed in their titular tones with colourful highlights on the three-stripes logos and heel panel. Meanwhile, the Yellow White Red uses a silky material on its yellow, orange and blue upper and has been built upon a rich red sole unit to match its crimson heel panel. Two more editions are decorated with Gucci’s graphic of interlocking Gs: the Red GG Monogram, which features the pattern on its red canvas upper and gum midsole, and the Platform GG Monogram, whose brown canvas upper emulates an earlier colourway but with the addition of a stacked, multi-coloured sole unit to elevate the wearer. The Square GG Monogram has applied a different pattern based on the Gucci G over its mahogany brown upper, while the last design from 2022, the Metallic Gold, goes for a more regal look with its shimmering golden upper and matte black three-stripes logos.

In 2023, the collaboration’s popularity grew even further, thanks in part to another monumental celebrity endorsement from Harry Styles. The music superstar wore several sneakers from the collection during his Love On Tour shows, and went viral on social media after drinking out of his Green Suede pair while on stage in Australia. With this next collection, adidas and Gucci focused on the monogram graphic once more to produce five new silhouettes all incorporating this graceful styling into the upper. There was the Beige GG Monogram, whose tan-coloured upper is highlighted with red and green accents and whose sole unit has just the Gucci Trefoil logo on its lateral heel. This sits in contrast to the Blue GG Monogram and the Black GG Monogram, each of which uses the monogram effect on its midsole as well as its canvas upper, the former in blue and black, the latter black and yellow. The midsole of the Green GG Monogram, meanwhile, comes in a deep shade of purple to go with its green upper and the pink accents on its heel and flanks. Completing this the 2023 collection is the adidas Gazelle Wedge x Gucci, whose upper matches that of the Beige GG Monogram, but which rests upon an eye-catching wedge sole that rises up towards the heel.

Gucci’s collection of adidas Gazelle sneakers perfectly combines the sporting retro stylings of the 60s original with the highly crafted aesthetic of the Gucci brand, while Alessandro Michele’s affinity for adidas’ design history ensured that each colourway was created with care and a keen attention to detail. Adored by long-time fans of the silhouette as well as those brought on board by its recent fame, the adidas Gazelle x Gucci will forever remain a testament to what can be achieved when two collaborating entities have a shared passion for the subject matter they are working on.

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