Under the music moniker Blood Orange, Devonté Hynes has spent the last decade softening the strident ego of mainstream pop with the wistful jazz and new wave tones, as well as musings on identity, belonging, and vulnerability, on albums such as Cupid Deluxe or Negro Swan. Singer, songwriter, producer, and director Hynes, who goes by Dev, brings his solitary sensibility to his other projects, too – whether scoring films and fashion shows, collaboration with visual artists, or, more recently, starring as the face of a capsule collaboration between adidas and OAMC, a menswear label founded by Luke Meier and Arnaud Faeh in 2013.
“It’s always been essential for me to bring a mood across, which is why I tend to direct my videos myself,” says Hynes of crossing disciplines. “Even when making music, I always work very visually, which helps in a project like this one, I guess.” “The thought of a collaboration was born from the relationship I’d built with adidas over several years,” says Meier, creative director not only at OAMC but at Jil Sander, where he shares the position with his wife Lucie. The Canadian designer is visibly comfortable operating collaboratively, the success of which, he explains, relies not just on reconciling different tastes but also on accepting (and valuing) a collaborator’s strong vision. “Dev has really well-rounded talent, and he’s someone I’d wanted to work with for a long time,” says Meier of Hynes’ contribution to the limited collection of sneakers. “The exchange of ideas went really well, as Dev is very confident about what he likes.”
Shot by Juergen Teller and fueled by adidas’ performance heritage, the collection intersects OAMC’s fearlessly calculated approach to menswear with three iconic adidas Originals’ silhouettes. The collection’s Type O-3 sneakers are a futuristic spin on adidas’ three-stripe model: in keeping with Meier’s vision, they integrate luxury textures – and surprising soft-glow pastel colorways – with the functional outsole of the iconic adidas GSG9 boot. Looking to mountaineering as a metaphor for upward mobility, and to the Pacific Northwest’s 1990s grunge scene, the collection’s seemingly disparate influences bring grit to the clinical precision of performance menswear. It’s a juxtaposition that suits Hynes’ creative approach. “I think all growth in life stems from dialogue and crossing boundaries,” says the musician.“ It’s important to speak to those outside of your comfort zone, and to try to develop an understanding with that which is not of your world.”