Following a lengthy friendship, Grace Wales Bonner and adidas Originals unite once again with a stellar new collection for SS22. While Wales Bonner closed a trilogy of collections last season with Black Sunlight following Lover’s Rock and Essence, the British-Jamaican designer – whose work meticulously explores politics, identity, the African and Caribbean diaspora and sensuality – returns with a nostalgic look-back at the traditional music and photography born out of Burkina Faso, West Africa.
While the country is currently marred by war and civil unrest, Wales Bonner retraces the ’70s and ’80s – where its vibrant youth culture was, famously, documented by Sanlé Sory, a photographer who spent his time in local nightclubs and gatherings, capturing modern life in its all-smiles glory. Sartorially, his black and white photos show impeccably dressed teens in a‑typical ’70s suiting – boxy blazers and high-waisted, flared trousers – nipped waists, cropped leather bombers and platformed loafers.
Though the imagery is devoid of colour, the movement of mid-motion dancing speaks a vibrancy of its own – of which Wales Bonner reimagined adidas’ classic WB Track Top and Track Pants in this collection: primary reds and yellows clash with blue and green, and calming pink is laid over a white netted vest in what could just be this season’s go-to – the first proper, proper summer since the pandemic began.
Tied up with a pair of WB Samba and adidas Country’s in super vibrant colourways, and enough ’70s-influenced prints to make your head spin, adidas Originals by Wales Bonner’s latest pairing is a harmonious, soulful ode to the balmy nights of a bygone – but much-loved – era. Here’s to summer, eh?