Blondey adidas Spezial Winterhill SPZL: five words, one thing to do. You better make some space on that shoe shelf for some mega winter sneakers.
Why is it such a momentous drop? Because Gary Aspden’s adidas Spezial is a sneaker sector that doesn’t adhere to trends, hype, or mass-appeal. Instead, through collaborations like the Liam Gallagher x adidas Spezial LG2 SPZL, or Peter Saville’s Joy Division-infused adidas Spezial Pulsebeat, the footwear facilitator is making cultural moments, defined by fandom and a love for typically British archetypes.
It’s the reason why a Blondey collaboration makes such perfect sense. The skater, Palace affiliate, and founder of THAMES MMXX is a Soho stalwart, whose brand has captured that gritty underbelly essence of London’s authenticity. Fittingly, Blondey is now the latest talent to be tapped by adidas Spezial.
Together, they present the Blondey adidas Spezial Winterhill SPZL. The Winterhill is a classic-leaning sneaker that’s inspired by the kind of footwear that the Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner would wear. Notably, the Winterhill features a colour block in the midsole, which references Messner’s mountain boots — and for Blondey’s collaboration, this is tinted in lilac.
It’s contrasted by a “Murky Olive” suede upper, technical mesh inserts in brown, a weatherproofed black heel cup, metal adidas branding and D-ring eyelets, and a Blondey-branded medallion logo on the tongue. Lilac laces are one of a few options that come with the limited-edition pair.
Taking to Instagram, Aspden said:
“I first met Blondey about ten years ago – back when he was with Palace and he has now been part of the adidas family (in the skate team and creating products) for a number of years. He has always worn and supported Spezial and he asked me if I would be agreeable to him doing his own version of the Winterhill SPZL.
“I see this hybrid silhouette as a Spezial staple (it’s not a silhouette that has ever gone outside of the Spezial range) so I wanted to ensure it was done in the right way and I trusted him to make that happen with regular communication between us throughout the process. The team at adidas Skateboarding in the US who produce/distribute Blondey’s products drove the project with the blessing of George Griffin who was product managing Spezial in Germany at the time.
“In truth I was skeptical of Blondey’s idea to do lilac colour blocking in the mid sole as it’s not a colour that has traditionally been used in adidas colour blocking. With the adidas Spezial range we always try to honour features in the products that relate to archival design language (which the lilac doesn’t!) but the juxtaposition of lilac against the murky ‘olive’ turned out really well in my opinion. In my experience the best collaborations are underpinned by genuine relationships and trust and part of the beauty of collaborating is the give and take in the process and what comes out of that. I have never wanted adidas Spezial to be pigeonholed/categorised – I love the idea of people of different generations and backgrounds adopting and wearing the range and making it their own.
“Shout out to @fairtax @lucaspuig @jarradcarlin and all the adidas skateboarders who wear and support adidas Spezial. It’s great seeing Spezial in the football stadiums but equally it’s great seeing it in the skate parks.”
“Gary Aspden is a name synonymous with adidas. Nowhere in the brand is such an encyclopaedic knowledge of it more reflected than in his range, Spezial. So working on a product that bears both of our names – the box logo being on the tongue of the right shoe – has been, put simply, a privilege.
“Of the 150-odd styles he’s designed over his 24-year career, the Winterhill is a personal favourite, and, since the first of the four existing versions was released in 2017, the basis I wanted for a collaboration. A basis to build on, not bastardise – with Gary’s blessing, crucially.
“But it’s not just about product, this project: it’s a celebration of the fact that adidas is adidas to so many people for so many reasons — from Gonz to Liam Gallagher, and, I hope, a means of introduction too.”
With all this being said, what you really want to know is: how do I get my hands on them?
You can’t get these via typical adidas Spezial distributors. Instead, the Blondey adidas Winterhill SPZL will be made available for purchase this Friday, November 3, at 11 a.m. exclusively from THAMESMMXX.com. No price has been revealed as of writing, however it should be around the usual adidas Spezial mark.
The collaboration will also be joined by another Spezial drop — that being the Lawkholme SPZL that comes on November 16 as part of the Fall/Winter 2023 collection. We won’t go into all the details here, but there’s one notable piece of information that Aspden has shared: “The name ‘Lawkholme’ was suggested by an adidas fan (and was one of the few that cleared legally this season) – it comes from Lawkholme Lane which is where the now demolished Peter Black factory was located in Keighley.”
What does it mean? Well, SPZL is well and truly Spezial again. So special, in fact, that there’s a special way you can access the Blondey adidas Spezial Winterhill SPZL. Per THAMES, “The opportunity to preorder will soon be offered to existing members of THAMESMMXX.com via the newsletter. Thank you and guten tag.”
So, set your alarms. These are going to fly.
More on Culted
Image Credit: THAMES