Bob Marley Inspires Adidas’ Grace Wales Bonner Winter 2020 Fashion Line

A report by Claudia Gardner for Dance Hall Mag.

Decades after his death, Bob Marley’s influence is still being felt in the fashion world.

The late Reggae legend is now at the epicentre of German sportswear company Adidas’ latest line for Winter 2020, which was unveiled for purchase online, beginning today.

The iconic brand reportedly was the Reggae legend’s favourite garb, as the name
“Adidas” reminded him of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

This winter, Adidas partnered with fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner, a 30-year-old of Jamaican descent, who showcases regularly on the London Fashion Week circuit, and who is also winner of the 2016 LVMH Young Designer award.

Wales Bonner used Marley’s love for Adidas sporting gear and football to influence this season’s styles.

Marley and his Jamaican musical compatriots have been credited as the first group of people to adopt head-to-toe sportswear as fashion off the field, long before their Hip-Hop and rapper counterparts took on the look.

According to GQ Magazine, the new fashion range, dubbed the Wales Bonner x Adidas collection, was first shown in January as part of the designer’s Autumn/Winter 2020 collection during London Fashion Week, “inspired by Bob Marley, Adidas’ extensive archive, the 1970s and Dancehall, the latter being an ongoing theme in Bonner’s collections”.

“Bonner has taken the iconic three-striped Adidas tracksuit and given it an elevated rework by way of embroidery, crocheted stripe details and oversized ribbing, paying homage to her British-Jamaican roots and memories of those sports-centric dancehall uniforms, as well as Marley, who famously wore his sportswear in an elegant way…,” GQ noted.

According to the Financial Times, Wales Bonner came across Marley as well as other exponents of Adidas’s unmistakable three stripes – while looking for inspiration for her collections, which often explore her British-Jamaican heritage.

The Finacial Times said the capsule comprises sneakers and ready-to-wear tracksuits, football shirts, tailored trousers and overshirts which were “created with a luxurious skew”. It noted that Wales Bonner sought what it described as “extra stimuli” at Adidas’ Germany-based archive, where she worked with styles of the 1970s, which was the year the multinational corporation debuted its Freizeit casualwear line.

Bonner told the Financial Times that the stripes infiltrated more formal, tailored dress codes, and Marley and compatriots gave the gear “a different meaning and wore it in a different context”.

On Adidas’ UK website, the classic track Jacket which Marley sported in someof his most iconic photographs is described as “Wales Bonner Lovers Track Top. There are also samba shoes, t-shirts and long sleeve football jerseys with the 1970s era touch.

“Wales Bonner reimagines ideas of masculinity and infuses expressive silhouettes with rich visual histories. In this collaboration with adidas, she channels young Jamaicans in 1970s London to recontextualise timeless adidas styles. This track jacket amplifies the iconic 3-Stripes for a standout, archive-inspired look,” Adidas UK wrote of the jacket which goes for £229.95.

The Adidas brand was created by Adolf “Adi” Dassler, a German shoemaker in August 1949. The name came from Adi and Das, the first 3 letters from the first name and last name of its creator. Later on, the company conjured up the “All day I dream about sports” as the meaning for Adidas, as promotional slogan.

Adi, who was the younger brother of Rudolf Dassler, founder of Puma, was born in Herzogenaurach, Germany in November 1900, and died there in 1978 at the age of 77.

Still headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Adidas specializes in the design and manufacture of shoes, clothing and accessories and is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, and the second largest in the world, after the American company, Nike.

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