In 2003 Yohji Yamamoto and adidas began Y-3, a collaboration that, when surveying fashion’s recent history, was and remains supremely ahead of its time. Long before designers like Raf Simons and Rick Owens worked with adidas, before anyone could imagine Jun Takahashi having a recurring collection with Nike, before “athleisure” ever spun forth from a marketer’s lips, there was Y-3. Yamamoto and adidas defined the now familiar meeting place of fashion and sportswear.

By the time Yamamoto approached adidas, his namesake label was more than 30 years old, his story well-chronicled and his status as a legend of avant garde fashion thoroughly cemented. By his own admission, Yamamoto’s enthusiasm for fashion was waning.

Fashion had become so boring, Yamamoto told i-D in 2016. I felt I had come too far from the street. I couldn't find people wearing my clothes anymore and I felt so lonely. At the time, New York businessmen were starting to walk to work in their suits and sneakers. I found this strange mix incredibly charming, a fascinating hybrid.

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