A look into the influencer-approved lifestyle brand and its collaboration with adidas. 

An aspirational fusion of high fashion and functional athleisure set against dreamy clay tennis courts and coastal retreats are just some of the visual qualities Oberg captivates through her magazine-turned-brand, Sporty & Rich. Picture Princess Diana in gym gear or JFK Jr enjoying an active beachside break – this is the mood board for your favourite influencer’s favourite brand and a bastion of the ‘clean-girl’ aesthetic. 

Who Is Emily Oberg?

Emily Oberg cut her teeth at Complex News working as an editorial producer, quickly becoming the face of the media organisation’s Supreme coverage. Oberg would often engage with the unique customers the brand attracted. During her time at Complex, she presented a Youtube series titled ‘Get Sweaty’, where she would interview various personalities whilst working out, revealing her passion for fitness and her skills as an interviewer. 

Oberg would later leave Complex to join the multifunctional lifestyle brand KITH, assuming the position of Women’s Creative Lead, a role that would no doubt influence the application of her brand’s artistic direction. After deciding to follow her vision, she left KITH in 2017 to pursue her own dreams. Oberg told Hypebae, “I’ve always wanted to work for myself. At the end of last year, I was like, “It’s now or never. I need to focus on what I need to do”. I love KITH, and we had a great run, and they’re gonna continue that, but it was just my time.” 

Why Did Emily Oberg Start Sporty & Rich?

Sporty & Rich started as a printed magazine focusing on the luxury fitness aesthetic of the ‘80s and ‘90s. The label was an extension of her moodboard account, developing into an influencer-approved lifestyle brand making comfortable essentials. 

Oberg’s relaxed take on wardrobe must-haves received a boost in sales during lockdown, with searches on Vestiaire Collective up 1,160 per cent per month. Despite restrictions lifting and “normal” life resuming, Sporty & Rich captivated a new generation of wellness enthusiasts with her positivity-focused label. Oberg has been featured on the Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ list, with her brand boasting a $50 million valuation, set to hit $25 million in revenue in 2023. 

Why The Samba And Sporty & Rich Work? 

For a long time, Sporty & Rich featured classic New Balance silhouettes such as the 990 in lookbook shots, a sneaker that seemed to go hand in hand with the aesthetic and wellness-focused theme of the brand. However in 2021, Oberg was interviewed by Hypebeast, calling the Samba a “super versatile” sneaker: “You can rock it with pretty much anything, whether it be a dress, skirt, trousers or denim. It’s super chic and elegant”. If you’re still wondering how the adidas Samba fits into the Sporty & Rich aesthetic, look at its easy-wearing versatility.

Speaking to ET Online, Oberg summed up her brand: “It’s a fun merch brand that people feel comfortable in. It’s easy to wear, nothing too weird or different, and nothing that is risqué. I think people love wearing things that tell the world who they are and what their interests are.” She went on to describe the vibe of the label as “playing tennis in a pleated skirt and a diamond necklace, going to the gym in a Loro Piana sweater, running errands in sneakers and a Birkin bag. It’s just that classic combo that works so well together and always will.” In other words, it’s quiet luxury’s sporty cousin. 

Adidas x Sporty & Rich. Credit: Laced Studio

Oberg has now worked on two collaborative Sambas with her brand, being ahead of the curve in adopting the sneaker into her wardrobe. For the first Sporty & Rich x adidas collaboration, the LA-based creative channelled the luscious greens of the European countryside into the sneaker’s cream and green hues. For its second, Sporty & Rich worked on three Samba models alongside a capsule clothing collection consisting of retro rugby shirts, cropped Tees and vintage-style shorts. As part of the offering, Oberg nods to the original White and Black Samba alongside a stand-out blue and white take on the design. This is accompanied by a muted inversion of the colourway. 

The influencer and brand owner uses her understanding of the streetwear and footwear industry to provide authentic brand partnerships in line with the overarching theme of her label. As the brand continues to grow, we can expect more of the same.