adidas x The Gonz: Shmoofoil Collection
Having first partnered over 15 years ago, adidas continues to call on pro skateboarder and artist Mark ‘The Gonz’ Gonzales for signature collections of premium apparel which are customised with his unique eye for colour, playful character decoration and an experimental creative vision. Known as the pioneer of street skating and one of the most influential skateboarders of all time, Gonzales resides in New York where he soaks up the city’s bustling surroundings and energy for inspiration in between working out of his one-room studio which is jam packed full of oddities, DIY skate decks and canvas prints. Spending his days skating and creating, Mark has no online presence thanks to being the proud non-owner of a smartphone for over 5 years and counting. No doubt a key reason as to why he’s so in tune with his own vision and somewhat unphased by creations from others, The Gonz is responsible for creating art installations and apparel collections for the likes of Supreme, he teamed up with Italian eyewear company Retrosuperfuture in 2016 and continues brings fresh ideas to his long standing partnership with adidas each year.
The latest signature Shmoofoil apparel collection has been unveiled for spring 2020 and is composed of heavyweight hoodies, cotton t-shirts, summer shorts and a varsity style cardigan which have all been influenced by classic leisurewear and sportswear essentials. Colour is the main focus from the release and includes distinctive tones of purple, yellow tint, off white and green tint which work in harmony with one another to create an appropriate spring-like vibe. Said to have been originally created to bring a little joy and happiness to the world and perhaps Gonzales’ best known art piece, the ‘Shmoo’ is an unidentifiable illustrated character that is always smiling and has become a key emblem for almost any collaborative release. The ‘Shmoofoil’ sees the head of the character upon a three stripe decoration, which is of course renowned with adidas’ legendary history and aesthetic and has been incorporated within each style from this SS20 release for a playful touch.
Designed with straight-forward comfort in mind, fabrics such as cotton, jersey and French terry have been utilised to ensure a premium finish throughout the range, often with soft brushed finishes for heightened comfort. The silhouettes are practical and versatile, suiting casual wear and can be mixed and matched through the year. A stand out piece from the collection is the crisp, off white Shmoo Cardigan which is reminiscent of a vintage varsity jacket with a modern twist, constructed with a narrow collar neckline and front fastening. Similarly, the vivid yellow tint Shmoo Shorts also bear a vintage inspired aesthetic and have been made from soft 100% cotton fleece and constructed with an elasticated waistband and multiple pockets that offer space to carry essentials when on the move. The ultimate staple for everyday, the Shmoo Logo T-Shirt and Shmoo Long Sleeve T-Shirt are both made from cotton that has been sourced through the Better Cotton Initiative and have flexible curved necklines above small ‘Shmoo’ embroidery on the chest for a simple but effective look. Whilst we may be heading into summer, it goes without saying that you’ll need an extra layer for cooler evenings and the Shmoo Hoodie is perfect as a heavyweight style with a brushed reverse that is adorned with subtle three-stripe decoration along the edge of the shoulders and sleeves.
A great example of how wisdom, experience and age can work in your favour, Mark Gonzales may have settled in some elements of life through the years but his excitement and curiosity is yet to cease. Long before the days of weekly international collaborations between major brands and influencers, the Gonz was approached by German artist Johannes Wohnseifer in 1998 to create a choreographed skateboard routine for an exhibition he was having at the Städtisches Museum. Images from the piece can be seen in Wohnseifer’s archive and show Gonzales wearing a padded-fencing suit with the Hawaiian word “aloha” written on the back paired with adidas footwear. The iconic presentation was emulated in 2018 at the Milk Gallery in NYC and saw Mark showcasing his natural flare, dressed in black with a Supreme branded hat and newly re-released adidas footwear. As a pioneer for street skateboarding during the ‘90s and an influential character thanks to his unique personality that is difficult to pinpoint and do justice to in just a few words, Gonzales has always stood out as marching to his own beat which has remained into modern day. In 2015 his art installation for Supreme marked a milestone in his creative career and saw larger than life ‘Shmoo’ sculptures placed within the London store with hand painted expressions and accompanying artwork on the walls.
With a vision to be new, whether it's by creating skate moves, through the materials he chooses to work with for his art or the way in which they’re applied, Mark Gonzales finds no joy in doing what others have already achieved, or recreating something that has already been made and instead gives his time to experimenting with different ‘attack modes’ which keeps both he and his fans switched on to what could be thought of next.
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