Adidas: A Legendary Sportswear Brand that Continues to Innovate
Adidas, also known as The Three Stripes Brand, is a German sportswear company that has been around for over 70 years. Founded by Adolf "Adi" Dassler in 1949, Adidas has grown into a global player within the sneaker industry with roots in track and football. Today, the brand is known for its iconic designs, innovative technologies, and collaborations with some of the biggest names in fashion and entertainment.
The brand's first performance-related breakthrough occurred in 1936 within the running space when Jesse Owens wore Dassler's revolutionary canvas and rubber spiked running shoe at the Summer Olympics in Germany. This drew attention to the brand, but it wasn't until 1952 that the brand acquired its now-signature 3-Stripes logo from Finland's Karhu. Adidas achieved similar success in subsequent decades within both the basketball and tennis spaces thanks to iconic models like the Superstar (1969) and Stan Smith (1973), respectively. These shoes became lifestyle staples in cities like New York, Boston, and Chicago.
Influence in Hip-Hop
Superstar sneakers became the unofficial shoe of hip-hop in the 1980s, largely due to RUN DMC's superstardom. The shell-toe design was the best-selling sneaker in North America in 2016. While less popular stateside, running silhouettes like the SL 72 (1972) and ZX 500 (1984) boast devoted fans of trainers across Europe and Asia. These silhouettes have experienced resurgences throughout the decades and are now offered under the Adidas Originals banner.
Recent years have seen 3-Stripes-branded sneakers soar in popularity, in large part because of the Kanye West-led Yeezy sub-label, and UltraBOOST, BOOST, and Adidas 4D cushioning technologies. Adidas has also pioneered high-fashion collaborations, hosting Yohji Yamamoto's Y-3 imprint since 2003. In 2020, classic silhouettes were reimagined by Prada and Craig Green. Elsewhere, partnerships with Beyoncé's IVY PARK, Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, Jonah Hill, Pharrell, and others have ensured that Adidas remains a global behemoth.
Throughout 2021, Adidas will continue to innovate and push the boundaries of sportswear and fashion. The brand signed FEAR OF GOD's Jerry Lorenzo to drive the creative and business strategy of its basketball category. While little has been revealed about Lorenzo's day-to-day, the American designer is likely to revamp existing signature sneakers for Damian Lillard, James Harden, and Derrick Rose before creating his own silhouette (and possible subsidiary). Away from the hardwood, Adidas has introduced the UltraBOOST 21, the latest chapter in its performance-running history.
Adidas is a legendary sportswear brand that continues to innovate and collaborate with some of the biggest names in fashion and entertainment. From its iconic designs to its innovative technologies, Adidas has become a global player within the sneaker industry. With the brand's commitment to pushing boundaries and collaborating with creative minds, we can't wait to see what Adidas has in store for the future.