Sportswear is a tricky part of the fashion industry. It’s more than design and aesthetic, as a designer or brand has to take into account durability, functionality, and practicality as well. But as with any other label, the design aspect can’t be left behind, especially since sportswear has become a huge part of streetwear. Wearing sportswear outside the court or field has become the norm, and numerous people, athletes or not, whether interested in sports or not, want to get in on the fun. This is why through the years, Adidas has become a force to be reckoned with in the retail business.
Adidas Sneakers Review
Origins of the Brand
The multi-million dollar company was founded by Adolf Dassler in 1924. Its original name was Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory, as Adolf’s brother Rudolph was also part of the business. The primarily made shoes for sports, such as football and track and field, targeting the world’s finest athletes at the time. They innovated the spiked shoe by replacing the metal spikes into those of rubber and canvas, making the shoes lighter and more comfortable. In 1936, American athlete Jesse Owens won four gold medals during the year’s Summer Olympics wearing the innovated spiked shoes from the Dassler brothers. Such victories pushed the company into worldwide recognition, and their clientele expanded tenfold.
After the Second World War, the factory was almost demolished by the Americans in 1945, if not for Dassler’s wife who convinced them that the company only manufactured shoes and not weapons for the German army. The Americans even became customers of the brand eventually, leading to the company branching out into the US market from that point on. In 1947, the Rudolf exited the company after to form his own sportswear brand, Puma, which would then become Adidas’s own rival label in the sportswear industry. Its new name, Adidas, was established after Rudolph’s departure and is named after the founder Adolf “Adi” Dassler.
From the late 20th century to the current 21st century, Adidas has grown to be a leader in the sportswear industry, especially with footwear. A number of their items through the years have become staples in both the fashion and sports world. Arguably, their most iconic pair is the Superstar, shell-tipped rubber shoes detailed with the label’s logo stripes. It was released in 1969 and continues to be their most best-selling item today. It’s also one of the most copied and counterfeited pairs of shoes in the entire world. Originally created for laying basketball, it has since become a classic for streetwear fashion.
In recent years, the Superstar pair has been rivalled in the fashion crowd by another Adidas classic, the Stan Smiths. The simple sneakers are minimal in design, with only a few pops of color to make it stand out, namely the logo on the inner flap and the splash of color on the back of the ankle. Throughout the 2000’s and 2010’s, the pair has become one of the most fashionable items of clothing, equalling that of the stiletto pumps and the Converse sneakers. Like the Superstar, it is also heavily-counterfeited worldwide. It’s also heavily-featured in fashion magazines and various media, such as TV, film, and social media platforms.
Beyond footwear, the brand’s athletic gear and clothing line have also made their stamps on the fashion scene. Adidas-brand hoodies and tracksuits, featuring the classic-three stripe signature, came to prominence in the 2000’s when they became staple pieces in the hip-hop and urban scene. Later on, they would also be worn by premier athletes off the court, giving birth to what is now one of the hottest trends, athleisure. When working out and exercising became the new thing in the mid-2010’s, various social media personalities often wore Adidas clothing in their training and how-to work-out videos.
The rise of the Adidas brand as a high-profile sportswear label was thanks, in part, to the many athletes and celebrities wearing the brand on the street. Football icons David Beckham and Lionel Messi have not only been spotted wearing the brand, but actually appeared in their TV and print ad campaigns as well. They’ve also put on their spiked shoes during their games. Rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West have also worn the label, both on the street and in their music videos. While other celebrities like Rita Ora, Taylor Swift, and Selena Gomez have even donned the brand on the red carpet during casual events.
High Fashion Collaborations
To remain in the fashion sphere, however, brands like Adidas have to inject a bit more of a fashion-forward touch to survive. As a response, they’ve collaborated with prominent fashion designers to design their clothing lines as well as create special edition items and capsule collections. Their most prominent contributor is Stella McCartney, a Paris-based fashion designer and daughter of former frontman of the Beatles, Paul McCartney. Adidas also manufactures Kanye West wildly-popular clothing brand, Yeezy, a line infused with both hip-hop and sportswear and primarily and controversially neutral-toned. They’ve held some of the biggest fashion shows during New York Fashion Week and is one of the rapper’s most prominent projects.
From a tiny show factory in rural Germany to one of the biggest brands in the entire retail industry, Adidas has come a very long way. No other brand has married the practicality and popularity of sportswear and the prestige and quality of high fashion so successfully as this mega-brand.
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