Adidas Spezial collection AW18 is a celebration of the Blackburn Eighties Rave Scene

If you have never heard of Blackburn, then a quick geography lesson. Blackburn is a town in Lancashire, England. It lies to the north of the West Pennine Moors, 9 miles east of Preston, 20.9 miles NW of Manchester. Blackburn is bounded to the south by Darwen, with which it forms the unitary authority of Blackburn with Darwen. A former mill town, textiles were produced in the town since the middle of the 13th century, Blackburn was a boomtown of the Industrial Revolution and amongst the first industrialised towns in the world and by the 1980s it was like many Northern towns, a scene of unemployment, empty mills, empty warehouses and general apathy. 

From this was borne the movement of all movements, and launch of the so called Second Summer of Love, because Blackburn was the place to be during the rise of Acid House. I know because I was there and it was an amazing time to be in the town and the North.

Now 30 years later ( Yes 30 years !! ) and the Creative Consultant for Adidas Spezial is Gary Aspden, originally from the area and using the Spezial brand of Adidas to recall the legacy and originality of the time.

Marking the release of Adidas Spezial A/W 18 collection, a film by director Nick Griffiths shows the story of the very first Acid Winter. In this  film, collaborator Gary Aspden’s relentless dedication to this much-mythologised era is celebrated; the glorious past of Acid House is updated and reborn before our eyes.

Focusing on the cultural phenomenon of the warehouse party, ‘Acid Winter’ rehashes the inextricable link between fashion and music, between adidas and Acid House. The history of the mid-1980s is relived as Acid House first made its way to the underground warehouse parties within the inner cities for the first time, taking on a new look, ethos and audience in the process. The stylistic legacy which those first generation ravers created endures still, forever pumping out of 21st century sound systems and stomping in the soles of the adidas Original in 2018.

It was a feeling that it was meant to be here, it was meant to happen in this town
— Tony Kreft, the narrator says of the Northern location, Blackburn. 

Incorporating Spezial’s commitment to adidas’s rich heritage, the A/W 18 film features an eclectic mix of apparel, footwear and accessories caught swaying in the rave, updated and reborn for the modern collector. A mixture of vibrant footwear silhouettes are pictured stepping through the warehouse on the feet of Northern club-goers keeping the party going into the early hours as the morning light filters through the gaping double height windows of the factory. In moving forward from the S/S 18 Summer of Love, these wintry garments are a slice of subcultural history, made to make new memories in.

Enjoy the film below and the memories, the collection drops September 7 and I am after one of the Sett End T - Shirts. (If you are from the area then you know what Sett End is ). Some key pieces are shown below and all images are copyright Adidas and some shot by the iconic photographer Kevin Cummins. Cummins has shot Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses and covered many of the Northern scenes. 

So snap up the collection as soon as it drops, it is sure to sell out fast.


The collection and more info on Adidas Spezial is available at and

Film Credits
Direction: Nick Griffiths Narration: Tony Kreft Executive Producers: Heidi Fearon for &SON Films, Gary Aspden Talent: Michael Clark, Edgar Fulton, Jack Hartley, Sam Knight, Matthew Adam, Andrew Briggs, Aqua Damour, Ella Damour, Richard Lawson, Kayla Masterson, Skye Morrison, Kieron Riding, Charley Stacey, Eli Trobe Director of Photography: Peter Drinkell Stills photography: Kevin Cummins Camera: Axel Drury, Scarlet Griffiths, Joseph Matiszig-Lee, Michael Curley Production: Shun Louis Bellieni for &SON Films Editor: Peter Croker Colourist: Ludovic Roussaux at OKAY Studio Soundtrack: People, Places & Things Musical Supervision: Gabe Gurnsey Sound System: Dropjaw Audio Visual Projections: Nathan Damour Lasers: Tec Audio Solutions Image Transfer: Steven Reid Props: Bloomin Lovely, Abigayle Andre Special thanks to VIEW Studios, The Alexandra, Nathan Damour, Mef Master, Steve Bentley, Steve Quinn, Gary Watson, Sue Ainsworth, Dropjaw Audio, Christian Wirth, Georgia Wagstaff, Luceny Fofana, Mike Chetcuti, Simon Foxton, Ashleigh Mellor, Darryl Charles, Arnaud Biscay, John Riding, Drew Trobe, Roy Webb, Joanne Riding, Wilson Aspden, Shaun Derry, Leon Derry Haworth, Darren Brumler, Bob Singh, Kevin Cummins, Maria Sihaloho Dedicated to all the Blackburn party people past and present. In memory of Ste McAdam.
Written by David Breathnach
Art Director at Laundry Magazine

David Breathnach is also the founder and creative director of Industry Design. 
fashionBy dBreathe