Those looking forward to Prada and Adidas' partnership may have been disappointed when the first output was a simple Superstar, albeit one hand-made in Italy with premium materials. Now the two collaborators are readying the release of their first original silhouette, a sailing sneaker dubbed the A+P Luna Rossa.
While it'll go one sale to the general public, the whited-out shoe was designed specifically for the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailing team. If you're familiar with Prada's own kicks output, you'll see notes of the long-running America's Cup sneaker. The lowcut A+P Luna Rossa features similar lines now rendered in a translucent TPU shell, as well as the same red stripe on the heel.
Go green — What sets apart the new shoe more than anything is the sustainability Adidas brings to the table. Beneath the shell is an upper made of PrimeGreen, a new material made without any virgin plastic. Along with Primeblue, which is sourced from Parley recycled ocean plastic, the more sustainable fabric is part of Adidas' plans to immediately use 50-percent recycled polyester in 50 percent of the volume it produces.
Because it's a boat shoe, the hydrophobic E-TPU outer shell prevents water from seeping in. Sitting below it is a Boost midsole, another great contribution from Adidas, the comfort of which will ensure its versatility. By featuring a narrow profile at the toe that widens as it reaches the opening, the lacing system is designed for quickness. It's not quite the velcro that's on some of the America's Cup sneakers, but it should make for a shoe that's easy to slip on without much thought.
Overall, the A+P Luna Rossa is a boat shoe unlike any we've ever seen. The sort-of ghost design and sustainable sourcing give it a futuristic bent — and it looks a lot like the Futurecraft sneakers we're eagerly awaiting to go public.
Dropping next week — A performance-version of the sneaker will be worn by Prada's sailing team in competitions going forward, and a pared down version is slated to go on sale December 9. Like the Prada Superstar, the A+P Luna Rossa will have a price tag more palatable to regular customers of Prada than Adidas. At $650, it's the same price as the America's Cup — which makes us wonder if this partnership will ever pay dividends to people with modest budgets.
At their best, collaborations with more attainable brands and luxury designers makes the latter's aesthetics more accessible. Think H&M and Maison Martin Margiela and Uniqlo and Jil Sander. Nike's numerous high-fashion link-ups usually come in cheaper than its partners' solo outputs, as have many of Adidas' sneakers with Raf Simons.
It'll be a bummer if Adidas only caters to a Prada budget under their partnership. The democratization of Prada remains but a fantasy, and if you've got more than six Benjis to blow, you'll be able to do so through Prada and Adidas' websites and flagship stores.