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Feature: Heritage Brands- adidas Originals

30th March 2015 by Ryan Gray

When it comes to heritage brands, few stack up in provenance and infamy than the likes of adidas.

Since its birth in 1941, the German sportswear giant has underpinned every influence and advancement that the sporting world has offered- from the development of the running shoe, to some of the most iconic football boots in history, adidas have been one of the founding names when it comes to putting sports tech on the map.

Created by brothers Adolf ‘Adi’ Dassler and his brother Rudolf, who later became founder of rival company Puma, adidas began its rise to fame when Adi took his unique adidas branded running spikes to American sprinter Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics.

Adidas became the first company to sponsor an African American, and their innovative spikes gave Owens the edge to win four gold medals at the games; adidas became a household name over night.

These sporting innovations came thick and fast for adidas, as they turned their expertise in design to every sport from football to tennis- bringing multi million pound sponsorship deals with them, using athletes like David Beckham to help keep their name in the limelight.

However, it wasn’t just on the field and track that adidas was forging a name for itself as an international powerhouse.

Head some 4000 miles west from Berlin and you’ll touch down in New York- arguably the birth place of a street led style, New York has been the proving ground for labels to make their mark in urban fashion since Run DMC first picked up a pair of adidas Superstars and stepped out on stage, wearing them unlaced.Unwittingly, Run DMC practically spawned a revolution when it came to the way that people on the streets were dressing. The Superstar was an iconic silhouette. Featuring adidas’ unique and instantly recognizable three stripe design down the side and a shell toe cap, the sneaker was a celebration of adidas’ sporting past- perfectly embodying how their athletic credentials can translate to life in the city.

The effect of adidas making such a smooth transition into casual wear was unprecedented- with a back catalogue of adored shoes, from the Gazelle to the Stan Smith, adidas offered a look that was inspired by the past with adidas Originals.

From the trefoil logo, to the three stripes, adidas Originals has invigorated the street wear scene, paving the way for the growth of faces new and old to follow suit- cultivating more than just style, adidas Originals are responsible for the development of a new culture, an entirely new way of thinking and dressing- something that started state side and spread all over the world. 


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