Athletic giant Adidas ( has a new designer partner: Stella McCartney.

At a press conference here on Wednesday, the Germany-based company unveiled the Adidas by Stella McCartney sport performance collection, a women’s functional sports apparel line that will hit high-end department stores in the U.S. and Japan and 18 Adidas Sport Performance Center stores in Europe for spring/summer 2005.

Adidas by Stella McCartney products will range in price from 40 to 200 euros and be available to customers by February of next year.

The collection covers four categories – running, gym/workout, swimming and cover-ups – and will be offered twice annually. The debut collection includes 48 items of apparel, from shorts and tennis dresses to yoga tops and pants, as well as eight different accessories and seven footwear models in a variety of colorways. Standout pieces include a stringed towel that can transform into a robelike cover-up and fashion-forward shoes that are also performance driven.

Most of the items are made with high-tech fibers and technologies such as Adidas’ ClimaCool technology and the X Static fiber system.

Adidas’ design partnership between McCartney, the former creative director of Chloe who now operates an eponymous label under the Gucci Group, first came about when she designed a limited edition sneaker for the company in 2002. Their continued contact since then "led to a common vision and to a shared desire to create something unique and powerful for women who take sports as seriously as style" said a statement issued by Adidas.

The new division will be part of the company’s Sport Performance branch.