18 January 2024

Step aside Sambas, Superstars are taking over in 2024

Wales Bonner recently revealed her next adidas collaboration with nylon jerseys and a crocodile-embossed Superstar sneaker.

Wales Bonner is so well-known for her collaborative adidas Samba sneakers that, on any given day, two-thirds of the predictive results that pop up after typing her name into a Google search bar  are adidas or Samba-related. Such is the power of an excellent shoe.

But with great shoes come great responsibility and you can imagine that any creative-minded type would want to move beyond iterating the same sneaker model if only because it’d eventually become too much of a tall order to stack up against yourself.

And such, Wales Bonner is at least partially stepping back from the Samba for Fall/Winter 2024, though she’s still pedestaling the Three Stripes by way of nifty accessories like branded shoulder bags, all presumably launching as part of her usual seasonal adidas Originals capsule.

Most importantly for the sneaker-buying public, Wales Bonner is also still making collaborative adidas sneakers. They’re just not Sambas. First seen during her Paris Fashion Week menswear runway shoe on January 17, Wales Bonner’s FW24 adidas sneaker collab is a new iteration of the Superstar, described by attendees as wearing leather embossed with a crocodile pattern.

In videos and photos of the runway, you can see Wales Bonner’s white adidas Superstar sneaker poking out from the bottom of voluminous trousers, just barely visible.

Wales Bonner also collaborated on some accessorised Timberland shoes for FW24, demonstrative of the designer’s far-reaching footwear aspirations — first adidas sneakers, then UGG slippers, now Timberland boots.

Wales Bonner also collaborated on some accessorised Timberland shoes for FW24, demonstrative of the designer’s far-reaching footwear aspirations — first adidas sneakers, then UGG slippers, now Timberland boots.

But the adidas collaborations are the reason for the season, the factor that’s brought Wales Bonner much crossover success. I mean, she arguably deserves it even more for her excellent clothing, always toeing the line between adventurous and approachable, but she knows her way around shoes, too.

Makes you wonder how much work Wales Bonner’s collaborations have done for adidas’ sneaker portfolio as a whole: surely Wales Bonner’s collaborative Samba sneakers aren’t the sole reason for the hype driving demand for adidas’ low-top shoes as a whole but you can definitely see some likely crossover between Wales Bonner’s collaborative output and adidas’ in-line designs. Either way, you can feel Wales Bonner’s Samba sensitivity. The designer’s recent Sambas have felt like a push of the envelope, what with all the hair and patterns.

Bonner clearly desires to continue breaking the mould and perhaps that’s why she’s stepped to the Superstar instead. To be clear, there may yet be more Wales Bonner Sambas come FW24 but it feels like Bonner is moving on from her signature silhouette. Will fans follow?

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