Commonwealth's Omar Quiambao On the Latest Adidas Collab, What's Next, and More
Commonwealth's partnership with Adidas Consortium is back. This time around, the collab takes on the Response CL silhouette.
Crafted from rich materials, the Commonwealth x Adidas Consortium Response CL features stitched down leather, molded suede panels, and hairy suede in shades of warm white to more earthy tones. Other details include sonic welding, thermoplastic rubber, and reflective details sitting on top of a 3-D spacer mesh.
Commonwealth design director Omar Quiambao says the project was about "trying to bring back a sense of discovery" since every piece of information is always within grasp these days. The discovery comes in the contrasting palettes between the lateral and medial sides of the sneaker.
We spoke more with Quiambao about his history with Adidas, designing the collaboration, and what's next for the long-running partnership.
ESQUIRE PHILIPPINES: How did your partnership with Adidas come about?
Omar Quiambao: We’ve had a long relationship with Adidas. We’ve been an Adidas originals stockist since we opened in 2004 and became part of the first wave of “Consortium” accounts back in 2006. We were pioneering a segment in the marketplace back then so our partnership as a stockist came about through relationships I had in the industry.
ESQ: How did you decide to use the Response CL silhouette in this collaboration?
OQ: The Response CL was actually a suggestion from George Griffin at Adidas. After working with George previously on our other Adidas collaborations, he’s developed an understanding of our point of view and style narrative. So it was a spot-on suggestion considering the timing of the project.
ESQ: What was the design process like? Do you start with the concept or the details?
OQ: The design process is fairly fluid. It can start with the concept or the details. This one, in particular, started off with the details. I usually put together a proposal deck loosely describing the direction we’d like to go. The deck will also include some swatches of material, color palette, and an illustrated example of what we have in mind.
From there, the Adidas team looks over it and if there aren’t any major concerns we move forward to the sampling process. I try to be as detailed as possible before sampling so that mistakes are minimized. We only had to do two rounds of sampling to lock everything in for final production.
ESQ: Why did you choose to stick with a muted palette this time around?
OQ: There wasn't any specific reason for the color palette, but as far as being muted, we felt the tones helped to elevate our concept.
ESQ: If you had to choose another shoe to add to the collaboration, what would it be?
OQ: While this silhouette comes from the running category, I would have loved to have added a model from the outdoor or hiking category to go along with it.
Commonwealth x Adidas Consortium
ESQ: Do you remember your first pair of Adidas?
OQ: I'm not sure I remember my first pair of Adidas, but the first pair I remember was the classic black Samba. I played community soccer (futbol) when I was in grade school and remember loving the color combination of being black with white stripes on a gum sole and the grooves in the tongue.
ESQ: What's next for Adidas and Commonwealth?
OQ: We have a few projects with Adidas Consortium coming soon in 2021. Be on the lookout in the spring.