South Africa, 15 May 2023: Today, adidas announces its latest collaboration with South African, queer designer Rich Mnisi with a unique collection and campaign for Pride 2023; Let Love Be Your Legacy. With a shared ambition to encourage allyship and freedom of expression without bias, in all spaces of sport and culture, the adidas x RICH MNISI range of apparel and footwear spans both lifestyle and performance featuring signature silhouettes across adidas Originals, football, cycling, Sportswear and swim.
The range is inspired by a love letter Mnisi wrote to his younger self, in which he declares Let Love Be Your Legacy – serving as his mission statement, but also a rallying cry for active allyship to empower and champion the LGBTQIA+ community. adidas partners Tom Daley, Jari Jones and Athlete Ally, have written ‘Love Letters’ to the world for the campaign calling for radical self-acceptance and support from the wider communities in culture and sport and appear alongside South African rugby player Lusanda Dumke in the collection.
Channelling the spirit of allyship, the collection’s vibrant colour palette is paired with the slogans ‘Love Unites’ and ‘Let Love Be Your Legacy’ printed onto the fabric, emboldening its wearer to lead with love and uphold inclusive values. The apparel and footwear features Mnisi’s retro graphic print, a monochrome circular check design layered with hand drawn flowers, and abstract shapes in bright and punchy colours with the adidas three-stripe boldly accented in pink and red. The adidas x RICH MNISI collection includes garments made in part with recycled materials and in collaboration with Better Cotton.
Speaking on the collaboration and collection, Rich Mnisi said “In creating this collection, I had a strong impulse to speak to my inner-child and express to the world how LGBTQIA+ allyship can create a legacy of love. Unifying these themes together through my own visual language and adidas’ iconic performance and lifestyle pieces is a powerful combination – making the collection a symbol for self-acceptance and LGBTQIA+ advocacy. My hope is this range inspires LGBTQIA+ allies to speak up more for the queer people they love and not let them fight for acceptance alone”.
Supporting active allyship at a grassroots level
The adidas x RICH MNISI collection for Pride 2023 is part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to help make sport equal. With the ambition to drive greater access, equity and safety for sport’s marginalized communities through advocacy and allyship, this year adidas continues its ongoing partnership with non-profit, Athlete Ally, which focuses on ending homophobia and transphobia in sport.
Founder of Athlete Ally, Hudson Taylor, comments “Together with adidas our goal is to drive inclusivity in sport – supporting student athletes from the LGBTQI+ and their allies to push for fair access and safe participation in sport. Through our partnership, we’ve created more affirming athletic spaces to celebrate the community across sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.”
In 2022, adidas expanded its partnership with Athlete Ally to facilitate the Title IX Athlete Leadership Summit and workshops at eight adidas-partnered NCAA college campuses driving education and policy reform to spur equity on campus and in sport.
“We as a brand believe in the power of collaboration to create a more equal world of sport. We will continue to work with partners such as Athlete Ally, listen to our LGBTQIA+ athletes and support our communities to create more possibilities – by creating safe and inclusive spaces to express their authentic selves while playing sport,” says Ashley Czarnowksi, Senior Director of adidas Global Purpose.
The adidas x RICH MNISI collection will be available from 15th May at adidas stores and on adidas.co.za. Join the conversation by following @adidasZA and using hashtag #LetLoveBeYourLegacy on Instagram.
adidas is a global leader in the sporting goods industry. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach/Germany, the company employs more than 59,000 people across the globe and generated sales of € 22.5 billion in 2022.
About Rich Mnisi
Rich Mnisi is one of the African continent’s most prolific creative multi-hyphenates. The creative director & fashion designer grew up pop culture obsessed, with strong cultural roots of his own as a proud member of South Africa’s Tsonga tribe and as a member of a family with inspiring matriarchs. This background has served as a key inspiration in his ever-contemporary work.
Mnisi has cultivated a compelling and immediately recognisable visual language that effectively showcases his talent and sharp vision as a graphic surface & textile designer, storyteller and creative director. There’s an inimitable spark in the vivid dreamscapes that each collection’s story comes from. His work style is as versatile as he is, allowing him to change mediums with ease and partner with others seamlessly.