Friday 11th September

| BY Paul Toner

Live Your Sporty Spice Fantasies with Adidas Originals By Paolina Russo

It’s hard to believe that Canadian designer Paolina Russo only graduated from Central Saint Martins back in February. The 24-year-old has dressed everyone from Solange and Kelsey Lu, to Jorja Smith and Sita Abellan – all before completing her seven-year run at the esteemed fashion school.

Russo quickly caught the attention of the fashion press at CSM’s BA show back in 2018, where her trippy knits, upcycled corsets and dresses made from old footballs – all inspired by her suburban Canadian upbringing – nabbed her the L’Oréal Professionnel Young Talent Award.

Quickly snapped up by big-name retailers like Selfridges and Ssense whilst studying for her MA, sportswear giant Adidas asked the designer to show during Paris Fashion Week alongside Nicholas Daley and Ahluwalia at the Adidas Originals Makerlab Show in January of last year.

“It was a crazy time, I remember prepping for the show in my parent’s basement in Canada, crocheting together one of my deconstructed sneaker corsets while I watched countless episodes of Inuyasha with my sister,” explains the designer.

It was during this trip to Paris where the young designer began talks with the Adidas Originals team about working on a collection together, which turned into back and forth trips between London and the Adidas Originals headquarters in Herzogenaurach, all whilst Russo was completing her MA collection at the same time – “I didn’t even have a studio at the time, not even a desk. I was just working on my kitchen table making a mess,” the designer affirms.

After a series of delays in the face of the global pandemic, Adidas Originals by Paolina Russo is finally here, and it’s giving us all the Sporty Spice fantasies we could ever ask for. Taking inspiration once more from her adolescence in Canada, and the sports she played growing up, the collection features colour-blocked track tops and mini skirts, as well as a series of form-fitting dresses and reflective two-pieces featuring corset tops with three-striped leggings.

Most of the pieces implement Russo’s signature illusion knitted fabric, which has been developed into brand new silhouette and colours. “I had such an amazing group of designers and developers who worked with me to make the pieces perfect,” adds Russo. “They were very technically challenging but definitely worth it as we created something really special.” If there was an Olympics for fashion collaborations, Adidas Originals by Paolina Russo would stand proudly at the top of the podium.

Photography by Aidan Zamiri, styling by Paolina Russo. Adidas Originals by Paolina Russo is available online and in select stores September 17.