When brands get influence right: adidas Originals and Daniëlle Cathari

I’ve written about brands that get influence right before. But the adidas Originals x Daniëlle Cathari collaboration is just on a whole other level of getting things right.

VFILES_danielle-cathari_RUNWAY-8_0It was just a coincidence that I listened to this interview with VFILES’ founder Julie Anne Quay just a couple of days before learning about the origin of this collaboration. Here’s a little bit of background: VFILES is a self-described “platform of integrated discovery, collaboration, and exposure.”. It’s a community for young creatives that gives them tools to be seen and heard. One of its most iconic projects is VFILES Runway, a fashion design competition that features and highlights the work of the VFILES creatives – the models, photographers, hair stylists, makeup artists and designers in the community.


In 2017, Dutch designer Daniëlle Cathari presented her contest entry for VFILES Runway 8, Something For Your Mind. Her collection included 8 looks, all of them made from vintage deconstructed Adidas tracksuits. Winning the competition brought her to New York, where she presented her collection during Fashion Week Fall RTW 2017, exactly one year ago.

Instead of suing her, adidas Originals understood the potential of a collaboration like this – and sent her a DM via Instagram. Fast forward to this New York Fashion Week, and the brand and designer are presenting the succesful fruit of their work together with a creative activation complete with a street casting and the participation of Kendall Jenner. Righteously, the collaboration is all over my Instagram feed (and now in my closet, too).


Platform13’s Leila Fataar has said it before me: being what we call “an influencer” today and having real influence are not the same thing. And when we talk about cultural influence, as in having the capacity of shaping culture, the terms are even further apart.

Hopefully more brands will start getting it right. Congratulations adidas Originals on an awesome move.