Girl power is at the epicenter of the sneaker world right now, and the latest brand to say #MeToo is Adidas. Today, with a little help from brand ambassador Kendall Jenner, the sportswear giant celebrated the Paris launch of its new, exclusive to women, Arkyn sneaker silhouette.
Jenner stars in the Arkyn campaign alongside four other inspiring women from different walks of life. The Paris event, hashtagged Adidas #TLKS, featured a panel of local European influencers: Josephine de La Baume, Camelia Jordana and Daniëlle Cathari moderated by journalist Alice Pfeiffer. During a discussion about feminism, De La Baume citied “one bad experience” she had with an agent. “I spoke up immediately,” she said, “but I did see girls around me who were afraid to speak.”
Cathari, 23, modeled the deconstructed track pants, on which she has just collaborated with Adidas. A Gen-Z version of the Gucci/Dapper Dan story, the partnership was born out of eight reconstituted Adidas pieces that Cathari presented in a VFiles fashion show while she was still studying at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. Instead of issuing a writ, Adidas asked her to collaborate. During the process, Cathari was introduced to Jenner, and the two became friends, developing an artist/muse relationship.
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Kendall Jenner is in Paris to celebrate the launch of Arkyn, Adidas’ exclusive new women’s sneaker silhouette. But can she speak French? Let’s find out. #adidas #arkyn #kendalljenner @kendalljenner @adidasoriginals @daniellecathari L-R: hip fellow Adidas collaborator Danielle Cathari, Kendall Jenner and host Alice Pfeffer. 🎥 @stiffyhm
It was Cathari who introduced Jenner to the stage in Paris: “She played such a big part in welcoming me into the Adidas Originals family and has made the collection come to life,” she said. The model had arrived a few moments earlier, greeted by screaming fans stationed outside.
As her Instagram attests, Jenner has been in France for a few days and recently posted a video of herself riding a horse in Chantilly in the north of the country. Can she speak French? “I can say ‘bonjour,’” she said, laughing. “But that’s about it.” And although we can’t speak for the horse riding, the Adidas event is due to feature in an upcoming version of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”
As for Adidas and Nike, they may be in fierce competition, but they are on the same page when it comes to their focus on the female sneaker market. Last week, Nike launched Nike Unlaced, an online sneaker boutique exclusively for women. Offerings include styles customized by guest curators such as stylist Julia Sarr-Jamois.
Adidas also hosted a panel discussion on creativity and culture in New York on Wednesday to celebrate the release of the shoe. Artist Cleo Wade moderated the event, which also included singer-songwriter Kelela, Serbian-American photographer and furniture designer Ana Kras and rising music artists Ian Isiah and Syv De Blare (Kras and De Blare are also two of the Arkyn campaign faces alongside Jenner).
The group discussed everything from morning rituals to creative output in the Instagram era. “We are swimming in content, and drowning in it,” Isiah told the audience during the event. “It’s time to learn to swim on top of all of it.”