What do you get when you bring together a sportswear giant with a Saudi Arabian designer who stands for female empowerment? A sneaker that merges different parts of the world in a celebration of cultures. This week, Arwa Al-Banawi unveiled her collaboration with Adidas Originals: the revamping of the renowned retro-inspired Forum Low silhouette.
The new kicks bring out what Al-Banawi does best, which is designing pieces that are an eclectic mix of contrasts, blending traditional tailoring with contemporary “east meets west perspectives.” The result of her latest collaboration? An outstanding iteration that is all about desert hues, matching them with hand-stitched elements and the red and white patterns of traditional Arabian fabrics.
Adidas Originals has had many collaborations with brilliant minds, such as Beyoncé, HUMAN MADE, and Bad Bunny, reviving time and again its iconic Forum Lo silhouette in various successful iterations. Indeed, Beyoncé‘s initial 2020 IVY PARK x adidas collections were an instantaneous hit. Al-Banawi follows in the footsteps of many great collaborators, bringing her own unique flair and experiences to the table.
According to her official website, she has a deep love and appreciation for fashion, mainly inspired by her many travels. Leaving the life of an investment banker behind, Al-Banawi worked on creating a womenswear brand that is both professional and fashion forward, pursuing her studies in London College of Fashion in Dubai and then launching her eponymous brand in 2015.
Today, she is known for her urban-tailored suits and statement tees in Arabic, her works have been featured on the pages of magazines such as Vogue, The New York Times, Grazia, and Marie Claire, and she has collaborated with other big names such as Levi’s and Pepsi.