Adidas Bridges Faith and Fitness with New Thobe Line

Amidst controversy over its sponsorship of the Israeli national team, criticized for actions in Gaza, the brand introduces a new line of thobes

Adidas has launched a groundbreaking new line of thobes, the traditional Islamic ankle-length robe, in collaboration with French-Malian photographer Emile Samory-Fofana. 

This unexpected partnership seeks to explore the intricate relationship between football and religion, showcasing how sport can serve as a unifying force akin to faith and spirituality. 

The new thobes feature Adidas' iconic three stripes running from the armpits to the ankles and the brand's logo on the chest. These limited-edition garments celebrate the intersection of sport and cultural heritage, offering a fresh take on the more conservative and conventional thobe. 

"As a multidisciplinary artist, I’m proud to be able to bring this special project to life and execute my vision from start to finish," Samory-Fofana shared on Instagram. 

"From making bootleg football Qamis to working with Adidas designers, styling my models, shooting the campaign, and wearing my own product. Now it’s in your hands, and I can’t wait to see you wearing it." 

Samory-Fofana’s previous work in 2022 saw him transforming traditional thobes into body-length football shirts for Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea. This latest venture with Adidas builds on that concept, merging fashion and function to create what he terms the world’s first "functional football Qamis." 

These thobes are designed not just for prayer but also for physical activity, incorporating technical fabrics for comfort and breathability. 

The reaction to this launch has been mixed. While some have praised the innovation, others have criticized Adidas, especially in light of a major boycott in the Middle East due to the brand's sponsorship of the Israeli national team. 

Social media responses have ranged from enthusiastic support to sharp criticism. One Instagram user remarked, “Genocide supporters! Nice try to get more money and get to the Muslim market… Ridiculous. Have no shame.” Another commented, “Oh thanks, now I can play football at 47°C.” 

Despite the controversy, there is significant interest in the new thobes. Currently, these garments are only available to friends and family of the brand and the photographer. 

This innovative thobe line is not Adidas' first foray into modest wear. In 2019, Adidas introduced its sport hijab line, a move that revolutionized the sporting world for Muslim women. 

The sports hijab, designed for functionality, performance and style, empowered Muslim athletes to compete at the highest level while expressing their personal style and faith. This line was born out of a desire to create inclusive sportswear that caters to the specific needs of Muslim athletes.

The Adidas sports hijab fashion line has been embraced by numerous athletes, who have shared their inspiring stories of triumph and resilience. 

Serena Ahmed, a famous soccer player from the United States, shared her journey: "Wearing the Adidas sport hijab was not just a fashion statement for me; it was a powerful declaration of my identity and a testament to the inclusivity and progressiveness of the sporting world. Through my personal experiences, I hope to inspire others to challenge societal norms and embrace their true selves." 

Fatima Abdel-Rahman, a talented track and field athlete from Egypt, echoed similar sentiments. "The Adidas sport hijab allowed me to focus solely on my athletic pursuits, unencumbered by concerns about my appearance or the disapproval of others. It provided me with a sense of belonging in the competitive world of track and field."

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