Adidas In Comms Fluster Following Spoof Fashion Show & Co-CEO Announcement

Adidas In Comms Fluster Following Spoof Fashion Show & Co-CEO Announcement

German sporstwear company Adidas has been forced to deny it had anything to do with an event in Berlin announcing a new co-CEO and “realitywear” fashion range made from “upcycled” garments from workers in Cambodia.

A fake press release, written by culture jamming pair The Yes Men and sent to fashion bloggers from a fake Adidas email, announced a big change for the company. A website and YouTube channel also exist, detailing the fake clothes and ethos behind the supposed change in direction.

It spoke of a “revolutionary plan” for Adidas to “own the reality” of the working conditions in south-east Asian factories where many of its clothes are made, it also revealed that Vay Ya Nak Phoan, a former clothes factory worker and union leader would be named as co-CEO of Adidas.

A fashion range, called “realityware,” accompanied the announcement featuring “carefully distressed” pieces “upcycled from clothing worn non-stop for six months by Cambodian workers who are owed wages withheld during the pandemic.” The range was supposedly curated by rapper and producer Pharrell Williams.

At the Berlin launch event, models covered in bruises and blood stumbled down a catwalk. The audience reportedly accepted the collection as genuine.

A pair of Adidas sliders with spikes pushed through the soles were even presented in a glass box, supposedly an example of the company’s new ethos.

“Just like sound waves on vinyl, hard work in the factories imprints on these threads,” said Pharrell in the fake press release.

“The worker is the artist, the clothes are their tracks, and we have the honour to remix it. There is no greater happiness than knowing your dope new gear pays a worker what they’re owed, and I’m proud to bring my ideas and the contributions of Humanrace to adidas’ REALITYWEAR.”

“The first step to fixing injustice is admitting the truth and making it visible,” said Vay Ya Nak Phoan in the fake press release.

“By literally wearing the toil of workers on our sleeves, we make it impossible to ignore.”

Adidas was then forced to deny any involvement. “This announcement is not by Adidas and not correct,” a spokesperson said.

However, the cat was out the bag. The press release had been picked up by picked up by several fashion news websites. FashionUnited, for example, wrote, “Adidas seems to have learned from past mistakes and seems interested in a serious correction of its course.” The article was later taken down.

An article on Yahoo Style said, “Bad Bunny and Pharrell Williams have contributed to adidas’ collection of “suffering-forward designs” to shine a light on the sports brand’s “renewed commitment to workers’ rights.”

It also said that “Adidas is trying to make amends after its recent “misfire” with Kanye West’s Yeezy line” and quoted Bjorn Gulden, the real Adidas CEO, as having said, “we are not going to hide our past transgressions or sweep our current labour disputes under the rug. We are going to own the reality and correct course.”

Yes Men co-founder, Igor Vamos, said, “They [Adidas] have this history of incredible scandals they have managed to overcome. They are masters of greenwashing.

“Bjørn Gulden has talked a lot about doing the right thing – perhaps today’s stunt will nudge them into actually doing it.”

Please login with linkedin to comment

Adidas The Yes Men

Latest News