In partnership with adidas
adidas NMD_V3 hit the pavement and Crystal Russell bounds into the night. The dancer and model's destination? A subterranean tunnel beneath Central Station. It may sound like a strange place to spend a Saturday evening, but we've learned to trust the process. Besides, when the NMD_V3's ethos invites you to "take on the city and create your own path", no adventure is off limits – not least an underground concert. Russell is a longstanding admirer of Australian singer-songwriter Ruel, and when the artist announced a handful of free intimate pop-up performances together with adidas, it was front of the mosh at any cost.
It's one of those early spring evenings in Sydney, the kind where the leftover heat of the day clings to your skin, unwilling to depart just yet. Which makes the adidas zip-up gender neutral crop top Russell is wearing all the more appropriate, especially when paired with low-rise cargo shorts. Strings of pearls decorate their neck and Russell has penciled in black stars at each corner of their eyes. On their feet? The dynamic adidas NMD_V3, of course. Released on October 10, the style is the latest update to the NMD, a sleek support system for Russell as they roam across the city.
Russell saunters over to Darling Quarter Playground. With time to burn before the gig begins, they make a pit stop to fly high on the swing set dropping to their feet to test the BOOST cushioning on the NMD_V3 and to climb the web-like rope structure, feet agile thanks to the performance-oriented kicks. The sneaker's re-engineered mesh and foot-hugging upper – made with a high-performance yarn which contains at least 50% recycled plastic rescued from our oceans – provides the support Russell needs to help keep them on their feet all night long. After embracing their inner child, Russell gradually finds their way to Dancer's Alley near the ICC, stopping here and there to watch the dancers perform – and at one point joining in, wearing a Bliss Pink Sweatshirt from adidas.
Before long, it's time to descend into the underground tunnel at Central Station via a secret doorway. Red LED strips light the path forward and there's an addictive, crackling energy on the air. Punters are carrying hand-crafted signs and Dijok DJ's to the close-knit crowd. Excited applause greets Ruel as he steps out onto the stage wearing the genderless adidas NMD_V3 silhouette, the reflective coral lines on the sole glinting in the darkness.
40 minutes pass, Ruel's signature husky tones blanketing the audience. He plays all the hits; Painkiller and Dazed & Confused and even a new, unreleased track. Everyone sings in all the right parts and sways in all the others. Crystal stands at the front of the crowd, as they had hoped, drinking the atmosphere in. It's over far too soon. But it always feels that way when you're in the moment, doesn't it?
Everyone may be making their way above ground for air, but there's still one more stop to make: dinner. Russell cuts a line towards Chinatown, craving dumplings from the beloved Dixon Street Food Court. Armed with takeaway containers stacked full of dumplings and fried rice, it's time to put their feet up and kick off the adidas NMD_V3s. What a night.
Shop the latest adidas NMD_V3 colour ways via the adidas website.