Highs and Lows has been delivering premium kicks to the good people of Perth since 2005 and in that 12 years have proven themselves to be one of Australia’s best premium sneaker retailers. Adidas are obviously fond of the store and commissioned the HAL team for Australia’s first ever adidas Consortium release in 2014. Highs and Lows have since followed up with a second collab released in 2016 and are now gearing up to drop their third which will be stocked worldwide. Not bad for crew living in Australia’s most geographically isolated city.
Each Highs and Lows collaboration has been within the adidas EQT family, with the new model working off the EQT Support ADV silhouette. Graphic designer Srdjan was one of the three HAL team members who lead the design so he gave us the lowdown on exactly what went in to it.
HAL were the first Australian retailer to do a consortium sneaker. How has the process changed from the first design to now doing the third?
When we worked on the EQT Guidance 93 we started in late 2013, we actually had to propose the collaboration to adidas. We had also just been signed off for the Consortium account so we didn’t know what was going to happen or what adidas would say to us. Fast-forward to now, the EQT Support ADV was given to us—so I suppose we proved our worth with the ‘Guidance’ and ‘Support’ projects.
Do you feel pressure to keep getting better with each design?
I don’t think any collaboration we do is better than the last, although each design is a learning process and we always try and push that little bit extra or think outside the box for what’s next. The EQT Guidance 93 was an homage to the Equipment series, we wanted to stay true to what EQT was and create an almost archival colour-way in premium materials. The EQT Support 93 ‘Interceptor’ that followed was very much story driven, inspired from Australian film history like Mad Max (duh) and the outback. This new project and what is the end of our EQT trilogy is the design and detail driven of the three, it doesn’t have a story and it doesn’t need one, it’s just a nice looking shoe with a lot of attention to detail.
Can you tell us about the colourway and why you chose each part?
The colour way started with a loose concept inspired by the original EQT packaging and Australian vegetation, but on paper that sounded a bit stupid and got confusing. So we looked at our previous EQT’s and how we could tell the trilogy story with some cohesion: homage, concept, and finally, design. The shoe features a one-off Primeknit developed specifically for our ADV, then coupled with smooth nubuck leather, and a hairy suede made for a texture-rich upper on an otherwise tonal execution. The olive pops are a reference to the original EQT sub-green, however we went a bit darker and added the gradient… because, design!
Who works on the design? And what’s the process like?
The three behind any collaborative project at HAL are Matt, Scott, and myself. We all take turns in who leads what project depending on who can come up with the best and most essential direction for that project at that given time. I’ll sit behind my laptop and collate the necessary information and package up the projects, but it’s all a team effort at Highs and Lows, we all have our own strengths, weaknesses and opinions—but together we can churn out some great and considered product.
Did you guys decide to do the EQT or was that dictated by adidas? And if so, why the EQT?
Working on the EQT range started from the first adidas Consortium collaboration we did. I suppose adidas were so impressed with our work and understanding of the EQT line that they wanted us to continue telling our story and theirs.
What’s it like seeing a design from you guys in Perth be sold all around the world?
Humbling, it’s always a nice feeling knowing something you had your hand in is offered globally and sold at other like-minded boutiques who all share the same love and passion for product as we do.
The adidas Consortium x Highs and Lows EQT Support ADV will be available for pre-release August 19 from Highs and Lows and their website, general release will be available from adidas Consortium stockists on August 26.