This week, adidas Originals officially unwrapped its “Home of Classics” collection, featuring a number of the brand’s most timeless silhouettes. At the launch, adidas went all-out, whiting out a massive warehouse in the north of Paris and inviting around 1,000 people from around Europe, including retailers, photographers, and friends of the brand.
The new pack remakes two of the German sportswear giant’s icons that transcended sports to become cultural icons, the Superstar and Stan Smith, presenting them in clean, all-white colorways with a purposefully yellowed hue on the midsole, evoking the grails in the brand’s archive. Elsewhere are eight silhouettes that are a mix of throwback and contemporary: the Supercourt, Torsion Comp, SC Premiere, A.R. Trainer, Continental 80, Nizza Hi RF, Rivalry Lo, and Supercourt RX.
The 10 shoes were all designed for sport but transcended the field of play, rediscovered and recontextualized for fashion purposes and casual wear, just like the Ultraboost’s adoption by sneakerheads who wore the shoe not to run, but because it was comfortable and stylish.
Through silhouettes such as the Stan Smith and Superstar, adidas has become synonymous with minimal-looking leather low-tops. And this was something the Three Stripes wanted to accentuate with the new, all-leather collection.
“We’ve been obsessing over the nuances of leather qualities, and have sourced the most premium hides from our best tanneries,” says adidas Originals senior design director Oddbjorn Stavseng about the 10 “Home of Classics” models. “The colors speak to this idea of legacy and luxury, and heritage over hype. By stripping away all the color pops, we get down to the essence of the silhouettes and let the beauty of the material speak for itself.”
The adidas archive played a big role in informing the “Home of Classics” designs, used as a resource to ensure the new sneakers were faithful to their predecessors.
“We spend a lot of time in our archive,” says Stavseng. “For the ‘Home of Classics’ pack, in particular, we spent a lot of time dissecting our vintage court shoes, studying every detail, down to leather thickness, stitching distance, construction, lining materials, thread thickness, color nuances, and so on. Also, the branding detail on the tongue was some sort of nod to the classic sizing guide from the inside tongue label.”
Having worked as a club promoter and grown up during the time Run-DMC popularized the shell-toed Superstar, adidas SVP of entertainment and influencer marketing Jon Wexler has a first-hand appreciation of how the worlds of music, pop culture, and sneakers are intertwined.
“The Superstar ’80s was one of the first shoes that really sparked my passion for sneakers in general,” says Wexler. “As a child of the ’80s and growing up in the Run-DMC era, that era when adidas really established what sneaker culture represented — where [a sneaker] wasn’t just something that was used for the end use it was designed for, be it basketball shoe, tennis shoe, whatever — it became lifestyle.”
Shoes like the Stan Smith, Superstar, and, in the modern era, the Ultraboost, have earned adidas legions of die-hard fans of all ages and from all over the world. But as Wexler points out, these shoes wouldn’t have become iconic if it weren’t for the influential people who wore them.
“I do think that people are silhouette-loyal,” he says. “I also think that people are loyal to the individuals they aspire to associate themselves with, whether it’s an entertainer or a designer. Raf Simons has a massive audience to himself; Kanye West has a massive audience to himself, as both an artist from a music space and an artist from a design space.”
And now, adidas fans have the chance to cop some of those silhouettes in their rawest form.
The “Home of Classics” pack drops on June 1 at adidas.
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