When it comes to serving looks, we all deserve chilled days. Even celebrities of Jennifer Lopez’s magnitude need to swap their vertiginous heels for comfier shoes. Her latest ensemble is perfect for a chic day off.
While out at the Malibu Chilli Cook-Off on Sunday with her sons and husband, Ben Affleck, the 53-year-old pop sensation wowed onlookers in a surprisingly pared-back ensemble. The look included a long-sleeved, billowing white linen dress, a medium Dior Book tote bag in brown, silver Jennifer Fisher hoops and a silver pendant necklace. The star’s ultra-casual red and white Adidas X Gucci shoes, the complete opposite of the platform stilettos she has been renowned for wearing in recent years, were what caught the most attention though.
Sometimes it’s better to go with a more practical footwear option for a leisurely day out, but that doesn’t mean you need to compromise on chicness. Follow J.Lo’s example and opt for a pair of stylish yet comfortable sandals.
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk
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Azra Khamissa is now bringing her unique henna designs to the world of fashion. The Dubai-based artist has been tapped by none other than footwear giant Adidas to render cool patterns on three sneakers, as part of a collaboration with local creatives including Latifa Saeed, Christopher Joshua Benton, and Hessa.
“It was a lot of fun using henna on leather, and actually quite challenging,” says Khamissa in her announcement of the project. “Hope you like them, and please let me know if you pass by to see them at the new Adidas Originals store in Dubai Mall!” The three designs see striking henna against the all-white sneakers, with one pair of high-tops featuring detailed stripes, the second with zig-zags, and the third with a wavy, filled-in pattern.
The collaboration marks a major step in the regional artist’s career, who started off as a chiropractor (hence, the moniker Dr Azra), and a leather handbag designer before her extraordinary henna designs took Instagram by storm. She would go on to launch her own brand of henna dye, alongside stencils that help you recreate her patterns at home.
Check out the Dr Azra x Adidas sneakers below.
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Vogue Arabia, June 2022. Photo: Keir Harris
Gucci has collaborated with the iconic three stripes to revive the glamour of retro. Alessandro Michele, the genius behind the picturesque collection, assembles the world of sport and opulence, while featuring the vintage kaleidoscopic aesthetic.
Vogue Arabia, June 2022. Photo: Keir Harris
Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Gucci continues to evolve by enriching luxury and fashion, while memorializing the creativity, innovation, and Italian craftsmanship at the core of its values. Adidas Originals has led the way for pioneering sportswear brands, with its iconic Trefoil logo, first used in 1972. The stripes used within the new collaborative collection serve as silhouettes for the athletic staples and leisurewear, while the vibrant prints embody the synergy between the Adidas Trefoil and GG monogram.
Vogue Arabia, June 2022. Photo: Keir Harris
The collection features trendy tracksuits, polos, sweater vests, skirts, and a striking knit dress. Each piece in the game of contrasts between the white three stripes of Adidas and the red and green web of Gucci. The house’s heritage in bags enters hybrid territory through the collection, which includes bags embellished with the Adidas Trefoil and “Gucci” spelled backward.
Vogue Arabia, June 2022. Photo: Keir Harris
The collection of shoes for men and women features the well-known and adored Adidas Gazelle sneakers, Horsebit loafers, clogs, and terry-fabric slides. The collection presents a variety of contemporary headbands and hats which instill sentiment for nostalgic sport inspirations and highlight the classic logos. Other highlights of the collection include two unique products including glitzed golf bags and polychromatic umbrellas.
Vogue Arabia, June 2022. Photo: Keir Harris
Dropping on June 7, the first Adidas x Gucci lookbook will anticipate the collection across select Gucci shops, dedicated pop-ups and online at Gucci.com. Together, the collaboration reflects a shared commitment to innovation, progress, sustainability goals, and collective action.
Vogue Arabia, June 2022. Photo: Keir Harris
Set design: Stefan Duering
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Gender-defying looks, a suitably retro soundtrack, and an Adidas collab: fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen brings you five things to know about autumn/winter 2022’s “Exquisite” Gucci show.
The show was intentionally heavy on menswear
After announcing his break with seasonality during the pandemic, Alessandro Michele brought the Gucci show back to the Milan schedule this season. But that didn’t mean a return to following the rules. In the middle of a fashion week devoted to womenswear, guests in the brand’s headquarters in Via Mecenate were shown a collection nearly fully composed of men’s looks. Those labels, of course, are entirely redundant when it comes to Gucci. “I thought it would be interesting, especially now that we’re so open to dialogues. I like to do things in a different way. It’s funny and spontaneous,” Michele said after the show. “Seven years ago, I came here with a men’s collection, and the reaction was that I had ‘invented’ gender fluidity,” he continued, referring to the first collection he headed up for Gucci. “I wanted to give a specific image of masculinity. My vision is broad. Men have opened the dialogue with the feminine world, but women also like men’s suits, and vice versa.” A very big part of Michele’s legacy at Gucci is gender-oriented, but as he demonstrated this season, his cause isn’t necessarily to make things ‘unisex’, but simply to wipe out any conventions surrounding the clothes women, and particularly men, can and can’t wear.
It was an ode to Michele’s defiance of gender codes
Michele covered his runway room in distorting mirrors as an illustration of how the clothes we put on our bodies can transform the way we see ourselves, physically and psychologically. “I use codes that are reflected in my own mirror. They help me to see how clothes can be corrupted. I shrink them, I expand them, I stretch them, and they become conveyers of messages about what we want to be in the world,” he explained. He opened the show doing just that, dressing a female model in heels and a traditionally masculine suit, allowing its magnified volume to drape around the body and effectively alter her physical appearance. Nearly every look that followed echoed that practice, shape-shiftingly broadening shoulders, nipping in waists, and elongating or cropping trousers. Throughout, the tailored suit remained an erogenous zone for transformation. “When I was a child I was really impressed by men’s suits. The first model was wearing a masculine suit… She could have been a working woman in the ’80s when I was growing up.” Perhaps more than ever, Michele’s collection was founded in his own formative years.
It featured a collaboration with Adidas
The collection featured a collaboration with Adidas, whose influence on especially European sportswear in the 1970s and ’80s would have been an unavoidable element in Michele’s formative tapestry. “Adidas introduced elegance in sportswear. I was thinking about men’s suits and tracksuits and sportswear, and tried to interpret it my way. The result might seem easy but the idea is really powerful,” he said. That was no exaggeration. While mixing sartorial and sporty codes – such as the tailored tracksuit hybrids and sporty evening gowns on Michele’s runway – isn’t revolutionary in contemporary fashion, the European roots of Adidas made these looks different to the American elements of sportswear we usually see in fashion. Side-by-side with his oversized chequerboard and stripy lurex suits, opulent jacquard coats, and all those logos and checks, there was undeniably a classic gangster vibe to the way Michele worked his Adidas components. But there was something so retro-Euro-’80s about these concoctions, which nailed the naivety with which our continent adapted these American influences in the ’80s, using our own brands.
It continued Michele’s fling with retro remakes
“What you have seen is just an experiment, a never-ending process,” Michele said of his Adidas proposals. “The idea was to break some codes through the sportswear. l looked at a picture of Madonna from ’83 where she was wearing an Adidas dress that had never been produced by them, but by a curator. This is now very normal – fashion has left the atelier – but looking at this picture, I was thinking about the kaleidoscope of things you see in the street.” The idea of the ready-made has long been present in the work of Michele, who already partnered with Dapper Dan, the Harlem designer who originally created a lot of the ‘curated’ logo pieces that appeared in the ’80s in the vein of Madonna’s Adidas dress. Like Virgil Abloh’s collaboration on Nike’s Air Force 1 trainers for Louis Vuitton last year, putting these brands on a luxury runway is a way for high fashion to recognise the deep-rooted influence of the communities and subcultures who pioneered the so-called “streetwear” everybody wears today. It’s important these things don’t just end up in a marketing machine, just like the idea of ‘gender-fluidity’. “This is what I am. It’s not a marketing operation,” Michele concurred, on the topic of the latter.
Accessories mixed the Adidas and Gucci logos
In the wealth of impressions that hit Michele’s runway – lit with clubby strobe lights and scored with a nostalgic but epic soundtrack including “Smalltown Boy” by Bronski Beat and “Fade to Grey” by Visage – some pretty epic accessories materialised, too. Large shopping bags with bamboo handles were covered in spikes, studs or Adidas stripes that echoed Gucci’s own. Laced riding boots with big gold buttons down the side proposed a genderless trope. And hats emblazoned with the Adidas iconography – from baseball caps to swimming caps and berets – topped off almost every look, cementing the ‘80s sensibility that permeated the show.
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk
As an actor, Deepika Padukone has achieved remarkable success, with national and international awards to her name. And as the daughter of a professional badminton player, athleticism runs in her blood. It shone through when she played the sport competitively growing up, and it remains perceptible to this day in her endeavors. Further proof comes via her recently announced partnership with Adidas. Teaming up with the sportswear giant as its brand ambassador, the Indian star and mental health advocate aims to further her and the label’s common goal of encouraging women to believe that “impossible is nothing.”
After keeping the collaboration under wraps for weeks before its surprise reveal, there was only one thing left to do for Padukone: Take it all in at the brand’s first flagship store in the Middle East, in Dubai. For the star, the emirate is a “home away from home.” The Chhapaak actor arrived at The Dubai Mall, commanding attention and nailing athleisure in a bright red and pink tracksuit, with the sleeves rolled up and a jacket casually tied around her waist. While to most, the obvious footwear choice for a tracksuit worn for an early morning appearance at the world’s largest mall would be sneakers, Padukone opted for a pair of high heels, with one red and one pink on each foot.
Vogue Arabia sat down with the star to discuss everything from the partnership, and sports as a part of her life, to how the conversation on mental health needs to change, and her advice to aspiring sportswomen.
Photo: Courtesy of Adidas
Vogue Arabia: How has playing sports shaped you as a person and as an actor?
Deepika Padukone: It’s played a huge role in the person I am today—the way I conduct my life, and the way I think. It’s taught me how to handle success and failure, how to be competitive in the right spirit. It has also prepared me for life, and I feel like no other experience in life would have trained me or taught me the values that sports have taught me.
What are some of the best life lessons you learned playing sports?
It teaches you so much, and I think I was fortunate to have participated in individual sports as well as team sports. It’s taught me everything from team spirit, handling success and failure, and how not to be impulsive, to the ability to analyze if you performed well: To take a step back, and analyze what you did right or what hasn’t gone well, and reflect, “What could I have done differently?” The list is endless: it’s patience, perseverance, dedication, and determination. I always say that I think only an athlete knows what the life of an athlete is like, and the values that it teaches you. I can say it in words but I think that feeling for me comes from my gut and there’s only that much I can put in words.
What brought about this partnership with Adidas?
When they reached out, I was more than happy to come on board because we all know Adidas is an iconic brand. Also for me, it seems like a natural extension of my personality because I’ve been an athlete. I conduct my everyday life like an athlete, and I think like one, so for me to associate with a brand that has similar values was a natural fit. I’m glad they think that I’m someone who embodies everything that they believe in and everything that they stand for and in the last couple of weeks ever since we’ve announced this association, keeping it under wraps was very very hard. But ever since we made this announcement, I think people are quite excited.
Photo: Courtesy of Adidas
How do you think the conversation on mental health has changed since you opened up about yours?
I think it has changed a lot. Honestly, I give credit to the people for being so open in terms of embracing it, accepting it, empathizing with my journey, and wanting to bring about change when it comes to mental health. Especially in India, where nobody spoke about mental health until I did, unfortunately. In the last five years, we have seen the country celebrating World Mental Health Day, and everyone talking about mental health in living rooms, and in the media you see celebrities being more open about their own experience. This is why I think we have come a long long way.
What more needs to change?
I think we still have a long way to go. Especially if we compare ourselves to Australia, for example, or to the UK and US where I think the conversation today is far more developed. But I certainly see ourselves geared up and headed in that direction as far as the openness to seek help goes, and I think the stigma has also reduced quite a bit.
What advice would you give to aspiring sportswomen?
Well, I think if you’re a sportswoman, I’d say you have already chosen the right profession. You are on a journey where you are going to learn some of your best life lessons, and patience. I think patience is also one of the things that sports have taught me. I realize this when I see today’s generation, compounded with social media, where you want instant gratification and everything has to happen now. I think sport teaches you to wait for good things, and that you have to work hard for them. Especially if you want to leave behind a legacy, and achieve something that’s permanent. Otherwise, I think one day will be up the next day would be down. I think if you really want to go up the ladder the right way, hard work and perseverance combined with patience is the key.
What stands out to you about women in the region?
I think their spirit and sense of joy. That is something I’ve been able to see even while just walking around. I think there’s a certain spirit in everyone. I’m unable to articulate what that is but it definitely embodies strength and determination.
Who is your ultimate fitness inspiration?
I can’t think of one person, but I admire people who are more disciplined and I think that comes at any age. I know people who are 13 years old and who are 75 years old that are extremely disciplined. When I say discipline, I don’t mean to say that you don’t enjoy your life. I think there are some people who take it to an all-new extreme, and I’m sure it works for them. But I think a subtle amount of discipline is what encompasses fitness. Whether it is being disciplined in your nutrition, sleep, exercise, or your mental health, I think, for me, that is fitness. I see a lot of people in the gym who have amazing bodies, and spend extra hours in the gym. I think all of that is great, but are you truly fit? I think only an athlete understands the value of true fitness. It is not just one aspect, it’s a lifestyle, and think I admire people who live by the same.
Now that you are able to travel once again, what are the fitness essentials you always have in your suitcase?
I think, to begin with, considering I come from the land of yoga, the biggest advantage is that you don’t have to carry anything with you when you can do it absolutely anywhere. I can be in my hotel room and do a couple of asanas or a workout. Currently, the phase that I am going through is, of course, a beautiful yoga phase. I also think a pair of great running or walking shoes are essential when you are traveling. That’s the easiest thing to do—you just throw in a pair of shoes, and also now with this whole athleisure trend, it’s multipurpose. I can wake up in the morning, and go for a walk or for a run, and I can wear the same pair of shoes and walk around in the mall, and in the same pair of shoes go to a restaurant. That’s what makes it functional but at the same time fashionable, and also practical when you’re traveling.
Read Next: Behind the Iconic adidas Superstar Uniting the Inspiring Arab Female Changemakers
Asma Elbadawi. Photo: Courtesy of adidas
adidas has unveiled its first full-cover swimwear collection offering a wider choice of versatile apparel for women. The range is designed to support the needs of those who find limited choice in swimwear and is informed – via community engagement and global insights – by those who expressed a need for full-coverage swimwear for cultural reasons, or those just looking for greater choice via a broader range of technical apparel to suit their needs in the water.
This is a collection especially needed for Middle Eastern women. A YouGov survey commissioned by adidas this year reveals that only 12% of women surveyed are completely comfortable wearing a swimsuit at a public beach or pool. Body shame and lack of privacy are the two main reasons women do not feel comfortable in their swimsuits. Additionally, 59% of women aged 18-42 surveyed in the UAE agree or strongly agree that the “media creates an unattainable body image for female swimmers.”
Photo: Courtesy of adidas
“At adidas we believe that nobody should be prevented from enjoying the benefits of being in and around the water. We are constantly looking at ways to diversify our product offering for all women and our Full-Cover Swimwear Collection is rooted in that mentality,” says Sybille Baumann, Senior Product Manager of adidas Swimwear.
Hence, the multi-piece collection includes swimsuits that offer coverage from neck to ankle. This piece features press studs inside the top at hip height and along the outside of the fabric on the legs to connect the two and offer an adjustable fit as required, preventing unnecessary movement of material in and out of the water. It also features thumb holes in the sleeves for optimized fit. In addition, singlets with sleeves, and a swim hijab featuring a specially crafted adjustable inner cap to provide the perfect fit and to prevent it from slipping while swimming complete the collection.
The quick-drying range is made of chlorine-resistant fabric that features Econyl® regenerated yarn as part of adidas’s ongoing commitment towards sustainable design.
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The Beyond the Surface campaign, part of Watch Us Move – adidas’s broader initiative to create more space for women in sport – celebrates the power of water and its ability to defy restrictions, bring renewal, and accept everyone unconditionally. It is fronted by Sudanese-British Asma Elbadawi, basketball athlete, spoken-word poet, and sport inclusivity activist, who created a poem to celebrate her relationship with the water and the confidence it can bring to all women. She is known to have petitioned and succeeded in convincing the International Basketball Association to remove its ban on hijabs and religious headwear in the professional sport.
Dareen Barbar. Photo: Courtesy of adidas
“Sport never judges you, that is why we love it, and I am passionate about finding ways to ensure we can provide a level playing field for all,” Elbadawi says. “Sadly, that is not always possible, but gone are the days where sport apparel needs should be a barrier to entry, especially when it comes to being in and around the water. This is a project that is close to my heart, and I am incredibly proud to support a campaign that will remove barriers for women across the world to enjoy swimming.”
Elbadawi will feature in the campaign alongside Lebanese amputee athlete Dareen Barbar, Liuba Novikova, Queen Owie, and Tracey Massoud.
Dareen Barbar. Photo: Courtesy of adidas
The 18-strong piece collection will be available from June 10, 2021, on adidas.com, in black, aqua blue, and burgundy red in sizes 2XS to 2XL. Each item is sold separately and can be combined into one look or used as individual items.
Read Next: The Future of Sport is Her as adidas Puts Women at its Core
Photo: Courtesy of Burberry
How many times have you pondered over the best outfit to buy, if jeans are the right fit, if the features you are most self-conscious about are on show or hidden? “Clothes shopping can be a challenge without a disability,” says Sophie Cooper, CEO of adaptive fashion brand I Am Denim, but imagine going shopping with the added anxiety of knowing most clothes are not even close to being designed for your needs. Cooper comments, “No one should feel forgotten or excluded from something as simple as finding fashionable clothes that fit and make them feel good.”
Adaptive fashion aims to break down these barriers and the ableist views dominating the industry. It is part of a movement to redefine what is beautiful and celebrate authenticity and uniqueness.
Tommy Hilfiger. Photo: Courtesy
According to the World Health Organisation, there are 650 million people with disabilities globally, roughly 10% of all the people on the planet. Adaptive fashion, which caters for this group and more, is predicted to reach almost US $400 billion by 2026 – a figure that hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2017, Tommy Hilfiger launched a line of clothes for people with disabilities. Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive includes clothing for adults and children, with easy magnetic closures, adjustable, expandable hems, sensory-friendly fabrics, and seated wear, for people who use wheelchairs. “Inclusivity and the democratization of fashion have always been at the core of my brand’s DNA,” said founder Tommy Hilfiger in a statement at the time of the line’s release. “These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion.” Nike, meanwhile, has recently invested in adaptive footwear, offering laceless sneakers that make it easier for people with disabilities to wear. At the new Adidas store in Dubai, mannequins offer a mirror for shoppers with disabilities, with one featuring a prosthetic leg. “Adidas recognizes and supports the importance of inclusivity in all its forms,” says Amrith Gopinath, senior brand director at Adidas GCC. The brand believes that through sport and sportswear “we have the power to change lives,” says Gopinath. “That ethos is what we aim to reflect when working with inspirational individuals of different ethnicities, sizes, and disabilities.”
Designer Madeline Stuart walks the runway during her New York Fashion Week show. Photo: Getty Images
While adaptive brands are in their infancy in the Middle East, factors are noticeably developing. There are roughly 50 million people living with a disability in the region, and UAE high-street brand Splash has addressed this community by launching an adaptive fashion line for people of determination, including modifiable and adjustable garments. Meanwhile, Dareen Barbar, an above-the-knee amputee athlete from Lebanon, has been signed as an Adidas brand ambassador. “It is great that big brands are taking the step to change the game and make their fashion more inclusive to cater to every human being,” she says. “It is time to change the fact that beautiful clothes should only be worn by small-sized people, or perfectly shaped models; everyone is beautiful in their own way. Beauty shines through diversity and it comes in different shapes, sizes and colors.”
Photo: Courtesy of Fashion Baby
Dozens of up-and-coming adaptive clothing designers have personal stories behind their brands, which combine engineered pieces with functionality and style. After her son was born, Cooper had to undergo major abdominal surgery, and simply pulling on a pair of jeans was painful. Speaking to other mothers, she realized she wasn’t alone and set about changing the post-pregnancy fashion experience. Her company, I Am Denim, offers jeans with second skin waistband tummy control technology. People with all body types can benefit from her designs, whether they have C-section scars, are recovering from abdominal surgery, or have fluctuating weight. “The fashion industry needs to realize there is a real demand for inclusivity, and affordable, accessible stylish clothing,” she states.
Megami swimsuit. Photo: Courtesy
Other emerging brands include New York’s FFORA, with its wheelchair-attachable accessories; Chromat, also based in New York, that creates swimwear for all shapes, sizes, and abilities; and London-based undergarment and swimwear brand Megami, which makes items for women who have undergone mastectomies. “We believe that women who care about breast health should be able to shop in any store, not just specialty retailers. They should feel this equality and inclusivity in their shopping experience,” says Megami co-founder and creative director Sergey Bakin, one of the three men behind the company, who came up with the concept after the women they loved had breast cancer. Megami, meaning “woman goddess” in Japanese, creates elegant wire-free, full-coverage, breathable bras, so women who have experienced cancer can feel both “strong and feminine.” The company also uses post-surgery models in its runway shows. Another new brand bringing a fresh spin to urban wear while casting diverse bodies is Fashion Baby, designed and helmed by Lucas Portman, son of supermodel Natalia Vodianova. “When casting skaters for the Fashion Baby shoot in Uruguay, I stumbled upon Isabella Desseno,” the 19-year-old shares. “At first glance, I loved her look and style, but as I delved deeper and learned about her disability, I felt even more that she was a ‘Fashion Baby.’ I want to celebrate people with a strong message. Her message is to not let anything stand in your way of your passions and goals. That happens to also be my motto.”
Nike Go Flyease adaptive footwear. Photo: Courtesy
In recent years, in part due to viral responses on social media, the industry has witnessed a number of diverse models come into the frame. These include paralyzed Brazilian Paralympic tennis athlete Samanta Bullock; Madeline Stuart, a model with Down’s syndrome who has appeared on the runway at New York fashion week; Kelly Knox, who was born without part of her left arm and walks the runways at London and New York fashion weeks; and Marsha Elle, a congenital amputee with a prosthetic leg.
The new flagship Adidas store in The Dubai Mall. Photo: Courtesy
Any person, no matter her age or background, could one day find herself seeking out fashion that suits unconventional needs. All consumers can be allies for marginalized communities, demanding that loved brands become more genuine. Adaptive fashion doesn’t have a blueprint, and that’s what makes it so creative, experimental, and boundary-pushing.
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Originally published in the May 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia