Ashley Walters Is adidas Spezial’s New Leading Man

by SHOWstudio on 2 April 2024

adidas Spezial kick off their 10th year with their Pre-Spring 2024 collection campaign. Here, SHOWstudio premieres the film.

adidas Spezial kick off their 10th year with their Pre-Spring 2024 collection campaign. Here, SHOWstudio premieres the film.

'For me, adidas is the one, from a design perspective', Gary Aspden told SHOWstudio ten years ago, when the designer and trainer aficionado was on the cusp of launching adidas SPEZIAL. In the decade since, the adidas SPEZIAL line has consistently reimagined the adidas archive for the future.

Seasonal capsules reimagine past adidas designs, both cult and yet undiscovered. The sell-out adidas SPEZIAL collections are devoured by trainer fans and general consumers alike; just take the recent mainstream craze for the Handball silhouette.

The powerhouse of adidas SPEZIAL includes a legion of brand ambassadors such as Liam Gallagher, Goldie and Stephen Graham. For Pre-Spring 2024, the British actor and musician Ashley Walters steps up to the plate.

Many will know South London-born Ashley Walters off the back of the global success of Top Boy, a series about London gang culture set on an East London estate. Airing on Channel 4 in 2011, Walters played the leading role of drug kingpin Dushane, going on to executive produce the series when it moved to Netflix in 2014.

Walters' professional career began at Sylvia Young Theatre School in his teens, and as a frontman of the hip hop group So Solid Crew, by 19 years old he was a Brit Awards winner. But growing up on a Peckham estate, he had long lived a double life with one foot in performance arts and the other on the streets, eventually getting wrapped up in local crime and spending time in prison. It's Walters' lived experience that he has taken with him throughout his career, making his acting break alongside 50 Cent in Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2005). Directing his first short film Boys for Sky in 2021, Walters' work is by the culture, and for the culture - just like adidas SPEZIAL.

'It was such an honour to be a part of this campaign. adidas is a brand that I have always aligned with throughout my career, and the Spezial range has only reinforced my love. 10 years of greatness, inclusivity, and connection with culture. Here’s to many more', Walters says.

As always, the latest adidas SPEZIAL offering includes footwear, apparel and accessories, and the devil is always in the detail.

Seven covetable footwear designs include the Gazelle SPZL, first launched last year, which is reintroduced in two colourways: the black suede of the Pulsebeat SPZL, and white denim with adidas' iconic three stripes. The 2017 Wensley SPZL also returns with its unforgettable contrasting nylon underlay and suede overlay upper, now in light brown with undertones of olive. Even sliders get the adidas SPEZIAL treatment with the adilette SPZL.

adidas fans should be keen discover the Pre-Spring 2024 collection's brand spanking new silhouettes. The Whitworth SPZL was inspired by 80s runners and the vintage adidas Clipper, whilst the Handball Pro SPZL - exemplary of Aspden's enlightening trainer archive expeditions - looks to lesser known archive silhouettes. Its blue colourway references the traditional colour of indoor sports shoes. Closing the line-up is the suede green Moston Super SPZL, born out of the adidas Artic from the mid 1970s.

Completing the Pre-Spring 2024 line-up are jackets, tracksuits, shorts and tops to match. The Trentham and Wingrove jackets are accompanied by the Angelzarke tracksuit set, Rossendale Short, Polo shirt and Lytham t-shirt, plus the collectible Brinscall bag, Mod Trefoil cap, socks and even a Mod Trefoil towel.

The latest adidas Spezial collection arrives in limited quantities on 4 April 2024, and is available through adidas CONFIRMED and select retailers.



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