Adidas has appointed a former Cambodian trade union leader as its new co-CEO after a spoof launch event at Berlin Fashion Week wreaked havoc on the fashion world, appointing a new co-CEO of the Derelict-style garments pre-worn by factory workers. I had to deny that I had launched a collection.
A spoofed press release written by culture-sabotaging activist duo Yesmen and sent to fashion bloggers from fake Adidas email addresses announced the German sportswear company’s “revolutionary plans.” A factory in Southeast Asia where most of the clothes are made.
Former Cambodian garment worker and trade union leader Bai Ya Nak Huoan announced as future co-CEO alongside former Puma executive Bjorn Gulden, who became president of Adidas earlier this year. it was done.
The company’s new direction was to be highlighted by a new ‘realityware’ product range, presumably curated by rapper Pharrell Williams.
At the spoof’s launch event in central Berlin, scarred and bloodied models ran onto the catwalk in “realitywear” outfits before an audience that seemed to embrace the collection as real. .
Adidas slippers with spiked soles were displayed in glass cages as an example of the company’s new ethos.
By noon, Adidas denied being behind the launch. “This announcement is not made by Adidas and is incorrect,” the spokesperson said.
By then, the press release had been picked up by several fashion news websites and bloggers. “Adidas seems to have learned from her past mistakes and she appears to be interested in seriously correcting its course,” news portal FashionUnited wrote in an article that later went offline.
Another report picked up by MSN news aggregator claims Adidas is trying to “make amends” after being forced to cancel a collaboration with Kanye West over the rapper’s anti-Semitic comments. , introduced a new range.
“Adidas is a company close to my heart,” said Yes Men co-founder Igor Vamos, who goes by the alias Mike Bananno. “They have a history of surviving incredible scandals. They are masters of greenwashing.
“Bjorn Gulden has talked a lot about doing the right thing. Perhaps today’s stunt will inspire them to actually do it.”
Vamos and his co-conspirator Jacques Servin have in the past posed as spokespersons for the World Trade Organization, McDonald’s, Dow Chemical, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
After industrial action at an Adidas supplier factory in Cambodia last summer, unions said there had been an increase in targeted dismissals of union leaders during the Covid pandemic. The pressure group claims his more than 30,000 workers at eight factories that produce Adidas apparel across Cambodia owed him $11.7m (£9.6m). .