As the world continues to adjust to its new normal amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Stella McCartney's fall/winter 2020 collection with Adidas seems especially relevant in times when the couch doubles as the office and grocery runs are one of the only opportunities to get dressed up. The pandemic has many rethinking their wardrobes, opting for a more pared-down selection of essentials, and the same can be said for sportswear.
That's where McCartney and adidas's latest lineup of athleisure comes in. The collection pulls double duty, with pieces (a pullover with statement shoulders, a leopard-print parka) that are versatile enough to take you from the gym to your next Zoom meeting. The duality of each garment not only extends your closet's life, but also reduces your carbon footprint — a win for both you and the environment.
Ahead, McCartney shares her tips for building a sustainable fitness wardrobe, the items you should always double up on, and the two key essentials you need to add — stat.
How many pieces, realistically, should a person have in their workout wardrobe?
The adidas by Stella McCartney FW20 collection is incredibly versatile and can be mixed and matched easily to create a capsule workout wardrobe. Created with sustainability at the heart, it’s not about quantity, but the quality of pieces in your fitness wardrobe - ensuring they are designed with purpose, fit well, are high-performance and look good is key to building a functional yet stylish activewear wardrobe that lasts.
What are the essentials?
We’re seeing more and more people prioritizing sport and staying active, and women’s fitness regimes have never been more diverse than they are now. Women are spending more time exercising outdoors doing things like hiking, which has given way to new essentials. My favorite pieces are the TruePace Wind.RDY jacket in photo snow leopard, designed to keep you going in windy weather, and the ultra-comfortable Eulampis hiking boots that are water-resistant, have insulated lining for added warmth, and metal trims to help protect against the elements.
What is the process behind finding new ways to update these essential pieces with each collection?
Together with adidas, we innovate to create the best in performance, so every season incorporating the latest technologies into the essentials we design is always a fun challenge, whilst ensuring we do our part to minimize our impact on the environment. In the FW20 collection we’ve used READY, adidas’ weather-responsive technology, plus sustainable materials like PRIMEBLUE, a high-performance recycled material made in part with Parley Ocean Plastic — up-cycled plastic waste, intercepted on remote islands, beaches, coastal communities and shorelines, preventing it from polluting our ocean.
Each collection is designed with comfort at the forefront so we’ll always start with that. If sportswear isn't comfortable, then it's pointless and I think the idea of creating pieces that are very ’user-friendly’ is critical for the way in which I work when I'm designing, and also the performance side is really key. I think more and more people work out now and have realized that keeping physically fit is always going to help them keep mentally fit, so each season we update the essentials and create high-performance sportswear pieces that are also stylish and comfortable, to fit seamlessly into active lifestyles.
Are there certain items we should double up on?
Although each piece in the collection is designed to perform and last, sports bras are worn closest to the skin and are used the most – so it’s good to have a couple of options in your fitness wardrobe that offer different levels of support for varied workouts.
Do you have any tips for incorporating these pieces from FW20 into your everyday wardrobe?
From a design perspective, I was inspired by the collective of artists we worked with on this campaign who are next generation thinkers, but also real people who have active lifestyles. The most important thing for me when working with adidas is to make the collection really come alive in the street and bring fashion into it. My goal was to design this collection with purpose, using adidas’ latest technologies, but really for each piece to be worn for more than just sport – also for life and lifestyle. The fashion-forward prints, oversized silhouettes and stylish yet practical accessories make the collection perfect for exercise, but also for exploring the city. As well as crops and tights, the collection includes striking outerwear and accessories making it easy to incorporate pieces into each layer of your outfit!
How would you suggest paring down your fitness wardrobe?
I think it’s important to have a capsule and versatile fitness wardrobe with quality pieces that last. The FW20 collection has been designed for performance, but also for style, and having pieces that can be worn outside of just sport helps to streamline your wardrobe. The collection includes some investment pieces like the oversized long padded jacket for those who want to make a statement, but also comfortable, pared back pieces in monochromatic and earth tones for everyday wear.
What are you must-have workout wardrobe accessories?
The large tote in photo snow leopard print is definitely the must-have accessory for this season. It’s lightweight, and big enough to carry everything you own, making it ideal for shopping or going to and from an outdoor workout. It comes in 100% recycled polyester weave, so you can look good and feel good.
Additional reporting by Samantha Sutton.