Highsnobiety and adidas have teamed up as part of the Three Stripes’ A-ZX collaboration world tour, working together to bring the letter “Q” to life on the ZX 8000 “Qualität.”

The joint project is inspired by craftsmanship and a keen eye for detail, Qualität being the German word for quality. Highsnobiety and adidas previously collaborated on the original Ultraboost in 2016, which was one of the most popular releases of the year thanks to its low-key, all-gray design.

Keeping with traditions (as Germans do) we opted for a tonal approach to our ZX 8000. The sneaker — which features premium leather, a leather lining, and a leather heel cup — arrives in a monochrome beige colorway, with subtle hits of gray. Highsnobiety branding is present on the heel, in the form of an embossed HS logo, and on the lace dubreue.

Alongside the Highsnobiety x adidas Originals ZX 8000 “Qualität,” we’ve designed a complementary collection of HS-branded basics. The collection comprises hoodies, T-shirts, socks, and caps in three tonal colorways.

Attention to detail & quality craftsmanship define the Highsnobiety x adidas Originals ZX 8000 “Qualität”

Ahead of the shoe’s launch, and to highlight detail that went into our collab, we linked up with South Korean artist and friend of Highsnob, @rudyindahouse. Rudy took apart the shoes and shared his thoughts on how the sneaker was constructed.

What was it like taking apart the Highsnobiety x adidas ZX 8000 “Qualität”?

The ZX 8000 is a very important shoe in adidas history; it’s a classic. I’m very happy to have had the chance to work on the model. High-quality sneakers are always hard to work on, as are classic sneakers. This ZX 8000 was no different, because it’s made very well.

What is your favorite part of the deconstruction process?

When dismantling a sneaker, you can see an invisible internal structure. Surprisingly, there was a big Boost section under the insole. I didn't expect it at all. I felt that this hidden detail was a cool touch because it makes a shoe everyone loves even more comfortable.

How did you decide which pieces to highlight when taking apart our sneaker?

Most classic sneakers have many pieces. I focused on how to express these pieces so that they can be seen well. The process is hard when there are a lot of pieces, but I’m pleased with the result. I tried to make the shoelaces look like they’re flying in the wind to create a dynamic and energetic atmosphere rather than a static art feeling. This was the detail I wanted to express the most.

How to buy the Highsnobiety x adidas Originals ZX 8000 “Qualität”

Brand: Highsnobiety x adidas Originals

Model: ZX 8000 “Qualität”

Release Date: April 23

Price: $160

Buy: Highsnobiety Shop

What We’re Saying: Following collaborations with the likes of Sean Wotherspoon, BAPE, and Overkill, adidas has tapped Highsnobiety to bring the letter “Q” to life via the ZX 8000 “Qualität.” The collaboration is part of adidas’ A-ZX collaboration. The world tour sees all 26 letters of the alphabet immortalized as ZX sneakers.

The A-ZX series was initially launched in 2008-2009, when adidas partnered with the likes of collette, Bodega, and Foot Patrol. This year’s edition (which kicked off in 2020) has served to highlight one of adidas’ most iconic performance running shoe ranges, the ZX.

The ZX franchise was first released in 1984 as a collection of running shoes that could cater to the needs of runners of all abilities. ZX introduced some of adidas’ most advanced technologies, such as Torsion. The ZX range was highly popular with the performance crowd, but also found a foothold in the UK’s rave scene in the late ’80s and early ’90s due to its characteristically bright colorways.

Highsnobiety’s ZX 8000 keeps things tonal instead of going all out with color, offering fans of the range a more muted, timeless design to rock. The Highsnobiety x adidas Originals ZX 8000 drops at Highsnobiety Shop on April 23.

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