Recently, head of public relations for XLARGE Yusuke Yamada sat down to share his thoughts behind the brand’s latest collaboration with adidas Originals for the SS 80s “Giraffe.” With a wealth of knowledge born out of years of experience, Yamada offers unique insights into one of them more unique collaborations of late. With animal prints making a strong presence in past collections from XLARGE, one of Japan’s streetwear originators, this release marks the first time a giraffe print has appeared on the adidas Superstar 80’s model.
Can you introduce yourself and what you do?
Yusuke Yamada, PR for XLARGE® and VA (omnibus sneaker store.) Brand marketing and creative visual designs for magazines, catalogs and other advertisements. Personally, I am a sneaker freak, photographer and writer.
How would you describe XLARGE’s approach to footwear design?
In 1991 when the XLARGE® STORE opened in LA, they started off carrying dead stock from adidas. I guess this is a legacy we carry on in VA, a shop-in-shop of the XLARGE® flagship store in Harajuku. We are the first to partner with adidas Originals Consortium, and we are celebrating our fifth anniversary this year. VA=Various Artists is part of XLARGE® and we select sneakers that match the XLARGE® history and philosophy. Previously we did Campus, this time is Superstar, both of which has been part of the XLARGE® style, and is based on the models that we believe represent our brand.
Why did you guys settle on a giraffe print?
The fashion trend of the animal prints have been something XLARGE® has been following for a while. Our Campus shoes were leopard prints, and we were searching for a new different animal print. In the long history that Superstar has, there never has been a giraffe print design. Giraffes are capable of killing their predators (even lions!) with a swift kick from their long legs. I was immediately attracted to this strong yet peaceful animal.
What are your thoughts on the current trends in footwear design and of course animal patterns?
Sneakers are no longer just for streetwear brands, but for high-end brands as well. It is the age where brands have to have their own identity and a spark that bring forth their identity. I believe that even in this time and age, new is not always the best, and reviving the original designs and colors is a more interesting approach. In the past the animal print was different and special, however now, it has become mainstream. Just like stripes, dots and checkered patterns. We need something innovating and new, something totally different. Perhaps a completely new color variation, or even a new printing method/style. XLARGE® will be introducing new patterns for sneaker in our Spring/Summer 2013 collection, in search of a new trend besides animal prints.