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Fall/Winter 2023 Design Inspiration: Athletic wear

By Jayne Mountford

Jun 1, 2022


Image: Courtesy Gucci, Dior, Balmain FW22

When Run DMC rapped about 'My Adidas' in 1986, the intersection between athletic wear, fashion and music reached its zenith and has not abated since. In the 1990s Laura Whitcomb was the first designer to collaborate with the Adidas brand, creating a stretch jersey v-neck dress worn by Madonna, Mariah Carey and Tyra Banks among others. Alessandro Michele recreated the dress for Gucci's FW22 Collection. Around the same time, Jean Paul Gaultier designed a diffusion line called Gaultier Junior inspired by sports. Of course, more recently, Stella McCartney has designed many collaborative lines with Adidas. The FW22 runways were filled with sporty references, from soccer and rugby football to fencing and field & track. Here are ten designers who used sports references to provide design inspiration for FW23.


Image: Courtesy Balmain FW22

Designer: Olivier Rousteing.
The Inspiration: Fencing.
The Look: Pieced-in pants and a breast plate over a long sleeved shirt.
Color: All-white.


Image: Courtesy Balmain FW22

Designer: Olivier Rousteing.
The Inspiration: Motocross.
The Look: All in one body suit in compression garment fabric.
Color: Pale grey and blue with charcoal and lime green.

David Koma

Image: Courtesy David Koma FW22

Designer: David Koma.
The Inspiration: Football (soccer).
The Look: Football jersey with logos, bike shorts, knee-high socks, blouson with diamante embellishment and a half skirt.
Color: Bright red, white, purple and black.

David Koma

Image: Courtesy David Koma FW22

Designer: David Koma.
The Inspiration: Rugby football.
The Look: Rugby football shirt with English rose logo in diamante, over the knee socks, helmet, shin pads and garter in diamante.
Color: Black, grey and silver.

Christian Dior

Image: Courtesy Christian Dior FW22

Designer: Maria Grazia Chiuri.
The Inspiration: Motocross.
The Look 1: Fit and flare dress accessorized with pieced-in leather gloves, athletic socks and shoes.
Color: Black popped by blue, white, yellow and pale blue.

Image: Courtesy Christian Dior FW22

The Look 2: Pieced-in leather jacket over lace blouse and grey gored skirt.
Color: Black, white and yellow with grey


Image: Courtesy Gucci FW22

Designer: Alessandro Michele.
The Inspiration: Collaboration with Adidas; Label by Laura Whitcomb early '90s.
The Look: Floor length v neck dress with Adidas stripes, sports gloves and sneakers.
Color: Red and white, yellow and gold.


Image: Courtesy Ferrari FW22

Designer: Rocco Iannone.
The Inspiration: Formula One Racing.
The Look: Body con pieced-in knee length dress in stretch jersey.
Color: Shades of blue with pops of red, yellow and white.

Louis Vuitton

Image: Courtesy Louis Vuitton FW22

Designer: Nicolas Ghesquière.
The Inspiration: Rugby football.
The Look: Striped rugby shirt over printed chiffon dress and sneakers.
Color: Navy, yellow and white.

Miu Miu

Image: Courtesy Miu Miu FW22

Designer: Miuccia Prada.
The Inspiration: Tennis.
The Look: Cropped pointelle sweater over low riding pleated mini skirt with plain belt, calf length socks and ballet flats.
Color: Bright white popped with red and navy.


Image: Courtesy Off-White FW22

Designer: Virgil Abloh.
The Inspiration: Soccer, formula one, horse riding, cycling.
The Look: Short shorts, sequin top, checkered scarf, bi-color scarf, athletic socks, over-sized riding hat, thong sneakers.
Color: Bright red, black, teal blue.

Palm Angels

Image: Courtesy Palm Angels FW22

Designer: Francesco Ragazzi.
The Inspiration: Athletics.
The Look: Two-piece track suit in black sequins: blouson with striped collar and cuffs; pants with side stripes and striped cuffs.
Color: Black with pops of red and white.

Victor Glemaud

Image: Courtesy Victor Glemaud FW22

Designer: Victor Glemaud.
The Inspiration: Gym gear.
The Look: Bandeau top and ankle length leggings with head scarf.
Color: Tan with a pop of red.