Y-3 | unbridled experimentation

When we meet Stefano Pierre Beruschi, head of design for Adidas, he’s just spent the morning with Yohji Yamamoto to go over the details of Y-3. It’s a regular appointment, we’re told, either in Paris or Tokyo – precious moments where both parties touch base. The hours listening carefully to Yamamoto’s vision, ideas, and musings on where Y-3 is, and what form the collections should take, are at the heart of Adidas and Yamamoto’s relationship. This unique ongoing collaboration – twenty-two years and counting – is a hallmark for sportswear collaborations with fashion houses: the uniquely deconstructed, experimental tailoring of Yohji Yamamoto meets with the technical and performance-based design of Adidas to create something entirely new.

In 2024, the vision for Y-3 is as strong as ever. The collections continue to reflect contemporary society, introducing ever-evolving technologies and techniques, to nurture a dialogue that is as relevant as ever. Zinedine Zidane was notably seen sporting a full look for the Yohji Yamamoto show, turning heads left right and centre during fashion week: even the Adidas team was awe-struck after spending several hours with the icon to dress him in Y-3 for the event. Speaking with Schön! during Paris Fashion Week, Stefano Pierre Beruschi walks us through an innovative collection for AW24, that brings out invisible details in nature. 

How would you describe Y-3 in 2024?

We’re going strong! We’re continuing to justify the attributes of what fashion means, of what sport means, and what it means when they come together – to create something truthful. We’re sharing both very Yohji-esque things and things he would never do. We aim to push up against a lot of edges. A lot of brands can do sportswear pieces, but of course, we can do it in a real way. Together with Adidas’ patented materials and innovations, and hybridising the expression of Yohji, his pattern cutting, sartorial virtuoso that he is, we create something entirely new.

What was the inspiration behind Autumn-Winter 2024?

This season we’re talking about the things that are invisible in nature. Elements like infrared, ultraviolets, soundwaves, and x-rays – things that you can’t see but that are there. There are certain ways that you can distil them, and bring them to life. Making the invisible visible, which translates as lots of hidden details hiding in the design. 

The Y-3 collections have always been based on a uniquely symbiotic relationship – how does this intersection work?

We’re continuing to push our own comfort zone – we experiment with a lot of materials, many of which were built and designed for a specific purpose – whether it be for triathlon or other sports, there are lots of little enhancements that act on the body. That can bring sweat to the surface, warming the body, breathability… We’re taking the properties of those materials and flipping them totally. We’re extracting their performance benefits and implanting them in clothes that don’t necessarily need to attach themselves to the performance benefits, but rather just express them artistically. For example, talking about invisible waves, if you were to put salt on a speaker, the vibrations would sonically create very beautiful patterns, to each actual note that they’re being played in. And we’ve created patterns from that.

What are the outerwear pieces this season?

We built a whole shell system. The design is very waterproof, and protects against the elements with a lot of different base layers, really controlling a lot of the space on the body. A lot of the looks are like envelopes, really giving this tone that works around space and volume in between. The idea is that it encapsulates the Yohji silhouette, but reworked. 

Another technical innovation was this liquid nylon that we worked on – it’s actually silver, a gun metal silver. We do a cold dye, so we allow the dye to do its thing in a really un-uniform way. It’s like a tie-dye. It goes from soft, to slick, to slippery. 

Discover the Y-3 collections here.

interview. Patrick Clark


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