With the highly-anticipated Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hitting cinemas this weekend, adidas has joined forces with Marvel Studios to reveal the bespoke costuming and footwear designed for characters Shuri, Okoye, and Riri.
adidas innovation and design teams led largely by female and BIPOC designers – including alumni of the brand’s S.E.E.D. program, forged a ground-breaking new approach to costume design under the guidance of Oscar-winning costume designer, Ruth E. Carter.
Seven unique costumes were created, featuring both apparel and footwear for characters Shuri, Okoye, and Riri. For the designs, adidas brought together its most advanced technologies to produce unique and pioneering looks.
Each piece was inspired by the character chosen to wear it, with their personality guiding the aesthetic of the innovation. Footwear was also designed to reflect the futuristic environment of Wakanda, playing into the functional aspect and individual storylines within the film.
Academy Award-winning costume designer, Ruth E. Carter, said: “adidas has been a part of hip hop and black culture and fashion since the 80s. To work with the adidas design team to bring our visions to life for the Wakanda Forever costumes was an exciting and wonderful collaboration. I was invited to experience some of adidas’ most futuristic technologies and given the opportunity to decide which innovations we would use within the outfits that would best reflect the environments of Wakanda. Myself and the Marvel team had a clear idea on what we wanted to achieve before we started working on the costumes for the film. Together, with adidas, our ideas were able to evolve in imaginative ways until we ended up with the inspired breath-taking outfits that you can see throughout the film.”
Emily Jagos, Innovation Design Director at adidas, said: “We want our work on these costumes and footwear to be remembered for their inventive take on functional innovation, and how they help tell the story of each scene they feature in. The most unique thing about these pieces are their connection to sport and performance; the women wearing them in the film play such powerful characters, and the connection between their outfits and performances innovations with the brand is really special.”
The collection was brought to life by a team of industry-leading designers, including students from adidas’ School for Experiential Education Design (S.E.E.D.) – a strategic initiative, to introduce new talent to the design industry, developed in partnership with the Pensole Design Academy.
Eliya Jackson, former S.E.E.D. student and current adidas Designer, said “Designing for Marvel and adidas on this once-in-a-lifetime project was a very special experience. Getting to tap into a project that focuses on product design through a cinematic lens and understanding that the product will be interpreted in a bigger and more magical way on screen was incredibly inspiring and exciting. The project has pushed me as a product and footwear designer to think about product creatively, with no restraints; and to imagine big. I know the designs will play into the bigger impact the movie has on my culture and the millions of people of colour around the world who watch it, which to me is the most special thing.”
The bespoke costumes created for the characters were arranged by individual looks, made up of four ‘Lab Looks’ and two ‘Flight Suit’ costumes for Shuri, and a ‘Knit Look’ and ‘Tech Fit’ look for Okoye.