Over the weekend a secret party within the hidden tunnels of Sydney was definitely one way to announce the collaboration between Australian singer Ruel and footwear giant adidas, launching the newest edition of their iconic NMD V3 sneaker.

Sneakers that fuse the best of sport and leisure, the cult following of the NMD is a marvel to behold. If you’ve ever seen the line up outside of an adidas store, it’s most likely because a new style has dropped. The latest issue – V3 – continues the footwear’s trajectory as one that innovates on the essentials. Specifically for its push into sustainability territory. The upper part of the new NMD V 3 is made with a high-performance yarn containing at least 50 percent Parley Ocean Plastic–re-imagined plastic waste that has been intercepted on remote islands, beaches, coastal communities and shorelines and 50 per cent recycled polyester.

Ruel x adidas NMD V3.

This move into greener grass so to speak is made even more poignant with the new campaign starring Ruel. Shot in the tunnels under Sydney’s Central Station, the campaign speaks to forging new paths. Something that the ARIA-award winning artist has been doing since he first appeared on the airwaves with his debut track “Golden Years” with producer M-Phazes. Ruel’s musical repertoire veers somewhat left of usual teen-focused bops. Introspective and socially cognisant, Ruel’s offering taps into the concerns the younger generation have. Specifically around climate change and the impact it will have as they grow older.

Ahead of the event, ICON was able to chat to the singer about his music, the collaboration with adidas and what it means to be backed by one of the biggest names in the fashion industry.

ICON: What were you most excited about working with adidas? What made you want to work with them?

RUEL: I’ve always been a sneakerhead, I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity over the past few years to work with a brand I felt aligned with and adidas just felt right!

Shooting – and the performance – took place in Sydney’s secret tunnels.

ICON: What was it like shooting the campaign?

RUEL: The campaign creative felt really new and exciting with the way they wanted to style the shoes and the locations we were shooting at. Walking around under Central Station in the tunnels was a crazy experience, I would have never explored that part of my city if it weren’t for this.

ICON: How important is it do you think for brands like adidas to champion local artists and talent?

RUEL: I always love seeing huge brands/companies supporting local artists, especially over the last few years it’s been hard for Aussie artists to get work and to do what we love. I feel so lucky to be in a position where I can do things like this with brands like adidas.

The NMD V3 features recycled and upcycled materials.

ICON: The things you address in your music – like climate change in “Let The Grass Grow” – aren’t the usual topics we would expect from a 19-year-old musician. What makes you want to write about these particular topics?

RUEL: Well, personally I think we’re seeing more and more young artists talk about these topics in their music or even on social media. These days it’s so important to use your platform for a good reason and when it came to this song, it just felt right. It was a genuine dark thought I had, and when it came to putting out the song, I wanted to give it the right context.

ICON: When you’re writing, what kind of message do you want to share with your audience?

RUEL: I just wanna write good songs that people relate to. I’m not really thinking of an underlying message while I’m writing, I just wanna speak from the heart and make things that make me feel the most, in any type of emotion.

ICON: Is there a particular colourway from the new NMD_V3 line you like the most?

RUEL: Personally, I love the orange and black, it feels a lil more unique. Orange is my favourite colour too.

The NMD V3 orange colourway.