With every legendary sneaker, a compelling tale sits behind the history of its popularity. Take the Jordan 1 for instance – because of the original “Bred” (Black and Red) colorway of the sneaker breaking dress code, the shoe was banned from the NBA. However, that didn’t stop Michael Jordan from wearing them, and as a result the Jordan 1 is the sneaker associated with the GOAT’s debut, worn in fashion circles to this very day. Another such shoe is the Margiela German Army Trainers – while less rebellious, the story behind the original pair is truly a compelling one.
In the 1970s, the German army commissioned brothers Adi Dassler and Rudolf Dassler (founders of adidas and PUMA, respectively) to create a shoe for the military, hence the creation of the German Army Trainers. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that the sneakers got the luxury update from French fashion house Maison Margiela.
Here’s the cool part about the original Margiela German Army Trainers – each pair was an actual vintage pair of German Army Trainers. Margiela gave them their own personal touch by embossing the tongue with numeric branding, hand-painting the midsoles, and having their design staff doodle on the trainers before shipping them out to retail. Each pair came with an info card reading “Feel free to add your own graffiti,” making each sneaker a literal one-of-a-kind piece.
Today, Margiela has their own German Army Trainer style still in circulation named the German Army Trainer “Replica” inspired by the original, but nothing quite compares to the aforementioned original pairs are only a handful in worldwide existence.
Rarity, story, design and purpose – the original Margiela German Army Trainers were the definition of “true grails.”
- Source: GQ