When a brand as big as adidas Originals gets in contact with you and asks you to help create a lookbook for an upcoming project, you simply don’t say no. Even if the time is limited with all of us working full-time jobs and running Y&Y during the day – it’s not always easy to accommodate but you already know we weren’t going to let such an opportunity go to waste. Time to come together as a team and see what we can do. Initially when the brief was explained to me, it kind of went in through one ear and out the other – I was puzzled. Our task was to showcase the versatility of this style trend in the form of a lookbook and the challenge was accepted hastily by me without any real consideration of how difficult it would be haha. Read on.
Our usual protocol is to come together as a team, in person would be ideal but our lives prevent that from happening so we take to our humble abode on Zuckerberg’s home, Facebook. After explaining a bit of background around the brief and what we needed to achieve, we were still firing blanks. It wasn’t something that’d fitted in with our style, especially the look’s roots in the West Coast.
Socks and slides are massive faux pas if you haven’t already noticed. Sandals are for warm weather and socks to keep your feet warm, so why wear both? because you’re brave. The origins of the look, I don’t really know but as far as I can remember, it started creeping up into pop culture through rap. Uncle Snoop has been wearing it for yonkers and more recently people like Frank Ocean, David Beckham and heck even Justin Bieber have rocked it. They’re pretty influential people in pop culture so folks are more than likely to follow suit, right? Yep that’s exactly what has been happening.
It’s still a marmite trend, with various fashion bloggers and magazines stating their thoughts on how it should turn out. Click here, here and here for a variety of different opinions on the look. Debenhams consumers even voted the look as the epitome of British style gone wrong but does anyone stylish actually shop there for clothes?
I think we all agreed straight away to showcase the versatility of such a combination, we’d have to use a plethora of styles to create an editorial without letting the socks and slides fall out of central focus. In order to do this, a studio was needed and as a team we had never shot in a studio before. It was always on locations around the city prior to this but hey, if you don’t just do it – you’ll never learn.So we gave it ago and luckily for me, I found the perfect studio to help bring our vision to life – One Fourteen Studio in Tottenham (Ugh I know – Arsenal all the way) which is a small studio space on Lawrence Road. It has all the props and textures, you’d need to bring the shoot to life.
I haven’t actually explained our vision for the shoot yet. For us, it was all about showcasing the versatility of socksnslides, using bold colours as our landscape. Each colour palette represented different styles; high fashion, smart minimal, smart casual, streetwear and hip hop. The concept for the shoot was inspired by the very first video I ever downloaded through Napster all those years ago, Destiny’s Child’s ‘Say My Name’. I have no idea how it came into my head if I’m completely honest, I was probably listening to Queen Beyoncé on the way into work and the idea popped into my head. Our aim was to capture the diversity of the #socknslides look which originated in the West Coast rap scene and now resides on runways and catwalks across the world.
Essentially we used various different colourama backgrounds whilst styling clothes that matched it in order to make the socks and slides stand out throughout. It’s the centre focus of all the shots – which is exactly what we had in mind. 8 hours of squatting down on a bench to photograph was a work out and I’m happy my core strength is on the up haha.
As we’ve never really shot in a studio before I opted to request a lighting assistant from One Fourteen studio who happened to have the hook up with former Hasselblad studio manager and freelance beauty photographer Natasha Cheek. Honestly speaking if she wasn’t there to help get the lighting right, I doubt we’d have been able to execute our vision. Her expertise was helpful throughout, even helped us art direct a few shots – definitely learnt a fair bit in the 8 hours, including a basic which involved shifting the focus button to the back of my camera instead of having it on my trigger. I felt like a n00b with that one. Right y’all read for our work? Prep yourselves.
Actually before I show you our final images, it’d be good for you to see my moodboards that kind of gave you an idea of the direction we wanted to take things in terms of lighting and colours. I know the shots are mainly colour blocking because it was near impossible to find decent images of same colour on colour shots. If you look at the moodboard on the right, it’ll give you an indication of what we hoped to achieve with the lighting, a slight shadow behind the model to add some depth to the image as opposed to being flat.
We’ve asked our family stylist Nike to breakdown the looks below that she and Derek put together in the space of a few days. As mentioned earlier, each of the looks represented a different style.
YELLOW: The urban look: Josh wears a bright adidas Originals yellow jacket which compliments the background and Simona wears a Adidas tracksuit trousers paired with a grey crop top.
RED: This is the smart casual look. Simona wears a cropped top paired with trousers and Josh wears a shirt with jeans and jacket shows how the look can be worn effortlessly in everyday environment.
GREEN: The street look. The green background and the camo and leopard accents create a jungle fever kind of vibe for this streetwear-inspired look.
GREY: The formal yet contemporary look. Josh’s sharp grey suit and Simona’s abstract dress both compliment each other. We wanted to create that concept of them getting ready to go out to a fancy dinner party.
BLUE: - The formal minimal navy look. The turtle neck and chinos and the pinafore dress show how socks and slides can be worn in a sophisticated and minimal way. Steve Jobs would be proud.
WHITE: The sports luxe look is very crisp and clean. With Simona’s outfit we played with texture pairing a sheer shirt with a skort (skirt and short in one) creating that sports luxe feel and added that final stamp with an Adidas jacket. Josh’s look says it all with the classic Adidas tracksuit that has so much leverage. Both black and white combo’s are a perfect match to the socks n’ slide combo.
Boom. The shoot just went live on adidas.co.uk, head on over to the site to see the hero image in its full glory. Easily one of the proudest moments as a team, never did we think we’d be doing photography for a global brand when we started as ’2FreshKids1Blog’ three years ago.