In this GFW Live! talk by Adidas Originals, Adidas Marketing Consultant, Gary Aspden discusses Manchester culture.Growing up in Manchester has a dramatic influence on Gary’s personality, lifestyle and career. At the age of 17 Gary went down to London to complete fashion internships where “he stuck out like a sore thumb”. One of these internships was at Armani were his Northern accent and casual dress made him stand out in the high end fashion environment.

After dropping out of university once, Gary Aspden reapplied to university in the 90’s to study Fashion Promotion as a mature student. Gary shared that “he treated university like an apprenticeship”. Going to university as a mature student was very different from his first experience and he thinks this is the reason why he achieved a First Class Honours Degree.

In his youth, hip-hop was a big aspect of Gary’s life and this is when he first got into sportswear. Later on in life a friend from his dancing days, who was one of the best hip hop dancers in Europe, saw that Gary had contacts in well known fashion brands and asked him for free clothes that he could wear whilst dancing. Gary shared that this is when he first made contact with Adidas. Gary Aspden began working at Adidas as an entertainment promoter, he explained that “he’s not a fashion guy” he’s just interested in it. Gary expressed his lack of interest for catwalk shows and following designers but he’s interested in culture and its relation to fashion, especially music culture.

Self-acclaimed curator, Gary shared his belief that “whatever you were into when you were 16 is probably what you’re going to be interested in for the whole of your life” and regarding Adidas, he sees it as an iconic brand and said that “an Adidas Stan Smith trainer is as apparent as a desert boot or a brogue”.


Words by Rosie Smith

Photography by Lily-Beth