Adidas Originals has been running a number of celebrity collaborations, hoping it will impact a new generation of consumers. But its latest endeavor is more than a mere, one-off endorsement. The footwear label has partnered with musician Pharrell Williams on “Now Is Her Time,” a new campaign that celebrates diversity and inclusivity, following the Time’s Up, #MeToo, and Black Lives Matter movements that took hold of the zeitgeist.
In the series of images shot by Collier Schorr, a photographer noted for examining race and gender roles, the brand cast artists and activists from disparate backgrounds, all wearing logo-ladened attire and sneakers (the Solar HU, NMD, BYW, and the Adilette) in a spectrum of colors. They include Williams, architectural technologist Iddris Sandu, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, filmmaker Sunny, broadcaster Reggie Yates, nonprofit leader Nadya Okamoto, dancers Sheena Cain and Sophia Parker, and models in a range of skin tones and body sizes.
The campaign follows the current trend in fashion that pushes forward social change as a marketing tactic. Over the past view years, especially after the results of 2016 U.S. presidential election, a large number of labels have been taking a stance against injustices, enlisting a number of activist to be the face of their advertisements. And in the eyes of Millennials and Gen Zers, these thought leaders and political provokers are just as famous as Williams—and perhaps more deserving of attention.
Indeed, fashion can be frivolous and too caught up in its—often glamorous—world. So, though campaigns like this one are now a dime a dozen, they communicate something greater than the mystique of a product. Brands are looking outside their confines, creating visuals that have greater resonance in society. And the fact that Adidas Originals is continuing down this path only shows that promoting equality is not as ephemeral as, say, biker shorts, or high-tops.