Critics of the new Adidas campaign need to pipe down
Critics of the new Adidas campaign need to pipe down

Critics Of The New Adidas Campaign Need To Pipe Down

Can’t we just wear whatever the f*ck we want?

You would think that in 2023 we’d be busy talking about environmental concerns and how to function as a country that’s controlled by a questionable government. But apparently, real-world issues consist of clothing.

Earlier this month, Adidas launched its Pride 2023 collection —  a collaboration with queer South African designer, Rich Mnisi. Mnisi’s range is inspired by a love letter he wrote to his younger self, declaring Let Love Be Your Legacy, a mission and a cry for more allyship and empowerment of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

The collection channels the spirit of the community, with a vibrant colour palette and slogans like ‘Love Unites’ and ‘Let Love Be Your Legacy’. The apparel includes pieces made in part with recycled materials and in collaboration with Better Cotton – the world’s leading sustainability initiative for cotton. 

The collection has been controversial, to say the least. Critics are expressing their opinions and it’s clear the subject has been dividing the public.

The backlash

Designer Rich Mnisi has said that the collection is ‘a symbol for self-acceptance and LGBTQIA+ advocacy.’ However, the release of the collection has shown that there’s still a lot of work to be done for the LGBTQIA+ community to be able to express themselves freely without the unnecessary hate from others.

The brand gained a fair bit of backlash after showing male-presenting models wearing women’s swimsuits. It’s understandable that people are confused, with the swimsuit design typically being a cut and style marketed to females, but upon further research, I found no indication that the swimsuit is only for women.

Neither the product description nor the title express that the swimsuit is for women. And the model’s pronouns or gender identity are not mentioned either, so are critics jumping ahead and making incorrect assumptions? Possibly.

Although the swimsuit is not specified by gender, some people expressed that maybe labeling it as ‘unisex’ would help clear up any confusion. But other critics exclaim that the brand is trying to ‘erase women’ by using male models.


Women’s rights activist and former NCAA swimmer, Riley Gaines, declared that ‘women’s swimsuits aren’t accessorised with a bulge’.

But isn’t that also discriminating against other bodies? What about stomach bulges in swimwear, or muscley arms in vests? Why are we so obsessed with who wears our clothes and what gender they are?

These types of comments are particularly harmful to the trans community. Gaines’ comment implies that trans women, who have not fully transitioned, can’t be allowed to model female clothing.

Luckily, people have commented in support of the collaboration saying ‘who cares about the models, I love the look of the swimsuit’ — which really should be the only thing that matters.

Or as one critic penned:

‘Who. The. Hell. Cares. Don’t want to see it, don’t look, it’s really simple.’

Bulge or not bulge, I’m more annoyed that I don’t have the model’s figure to pull it off.

Want to check out the Adidas pride collection? Don’t forget to use our Student discount for Adidas.

Caught the shopping bug? Save some cash with Student Beans fashion discounts.