Indicative of how sport and fashion have always enjoyed a super close relationship, adidas recently partnered with South Africa’s award-winning fashion designers, Rich Mnisi and Thebe Magugu – alongside global influential members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community – to headline the 2021 Pride collection for its ‘Love Unites‘ campaign.
With pieces (as seen below) spanning across style and performance wear, the expansive collection looks to further champion and pay homage to the ‘Do It Yourself’ (DIY) visual aesthetic born from the LGBTQ+ communities who had sought to create their own spaces for self-expression.
Explaining the connection between his new pro-LGBTQI+ adidas collection and how sportswear fashion has often required the use of professional athlete in its marketing mediums, Mnisi, famous for both his unique contemporary designs and dressing the likes of adidas creative partner and American music superstar Beyoncé said: “Heteronormativity from professional sports to children’s athletics has been seen as the typical model in sports culture.”
True to form, Mnisi “reimagined this Pride collection by celebrating queer personalities that exist in sport today, dancer Lebo Otukile, rugby player Soala Amabeoku and soccer player & coach Mpumi Nyandeni,” he further explained.
Equally excited, Magugu hailed the campaign for spotlighting those working hard to push the boundaries of both fashion through sport, which had for years remained a hostile territory for LGBTQ+ community not only in South Africa but throughout the world.
“More queer athletes are running, shooting hoops, and kicking stereotypes with pride than ever before. In sports, like everyday life, cultivating passion begins with love. As queer athletes leap over stereotypes and break boundaries, let their passion inspire you to wear your heart on your sleeve and stand with pride,” added Magugu. His reimagined adidas pride collection features models Lethabo Gailele, Monray Louw and Chalé Darwin.
The 2021 ‘Love Unites’ collection is available at selected adidas.co.za and at adidas stores nationwide.
*For previous coverage from our gallery on adidas continues to push creative boundaries, click here.