Last week we made a visit to End Hunting Co. in Newcastle upon Tyne for the launch of the eagerly anticipated Adidas Originals by Originals by Kazuki Spring/Summer 2011 Collection, the last to be crafted by Kazuki.
The night had the classic store hosting vibes, streams of free red bull, vitamin water and beverages, a cheeky sandwich or too to prep all attendees for a night down at ‘The Town Wall’ with yet more drinks and an Adidas giveaway.
The collection itself draws obvious inspiration from the eclectic Japanese streetwear culture and collaborations with Ian Brown, Azuma and Jam Home Made. It’s by no surprise that Kazuki’s final collection saw the designer bring in close friends in the industry to create something unique and iconic.
The ZX Ian Brown is a classic premium ZXZ, produced in the finest leather in what is said to be Ian’s (former Stone Roses front man) favourite colour, black. A few nice features; leather and mesh uppers, ‘Unfinished Monkey Business’ tongue decal and suede heel ‘ObyO’ branded panels make the trainer. These things are going to be worth some serious money in the short future.
Jam Home Made are Japanese jewellery designers who’ve flipped the classic Stan Smith, updating the eyelets, uppers and back heel tab, transforming a Western to an Eastern classic.
The KZK Plants is a slimline plimsoll designed by floral artist Azuma, yes, you read that correctly, a plimsoll. Ironically the only similarities between the ‘Plants’ and a plimsoll are the canvas uppers which have been waxed and the vulcanised toe box making it closer to a classic ‘All Star’ than anything else. Again, Kazuki produced another shoe that isn’t going to remain on the shelves long.
The pieces that really got everyone talking however were the Darwen and ZX Mocc. Like Marmite, you either love them or hate them.
The Darwen is a mid-cut ZX Boat style hybrid that is apparently named after the town Darwen in Lancashire, home town of Kazuki’s friend (and Adidas aficionado) Gary Aspen and the ZX Mocc, said to be influenced by the 1960’s creeper shoes, currently all the rage out in Japan. The ZX Mocc is typically a crazy infusion with premium suede uppers and a moccasin toe, brothel creeper detailing and tartan stroked heels.
Last but not least is The Copepan, a combination of the campus tennis shoe and a classic T-toe. Despite it failing to stand out in a collection that hosts the likes of the Darwen and ZX Mocc, it’s still a piece that’s like no other, which seems to be Kazuki’s theme throughout the collection.
It’s definitely a shame to say this is the last Adidas Originals collection from Kazuki however it wouldn’t be at all clever to suggest this is the last we will see his touch on any future footwear collection.
The collection is now available at End Clothing.
Photography: Matt Miller for The Daily Street.