Adidas Superstar turns 50


7 Feb

Celebrating the 50th Birthday of the Adidas Superstar

You wouldn’t tell because of its youthful looks, but the Adidas Superstar turns 50 this year. It’s one of those iconic sneakers that survived the test of time and is embraced by fans from different cultures and generations.

The Birth of a New Superstar

During the 1970s, basketball gained a lot of popularity. This entailed the need for better material, in particular, footwear. The search for a shoe that supported the rising level of the game led to the design of the Adidas Superstar.

Its shell toe is the biggest hallmark of the iconic sneaker. This feature was created in order to protect the basketball player’s toes. In general, the shoe offered better stability, support, grip, and comfort compared to the canvas designs that were left unchanged since the year 1900.

Adidas Superstar turns 50

The creators behind the Superstar were Horst Dassler, son of Adidas founder Adi Dassler, and Chris Severn, his American advisor. Severn’s knowledge of the game led to the design of the ultimate basketball shoe. Initially, the sneaker was baptized the Supergrip but renamed in 1969 to Superstar. NBA All-Star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the first legend to become the figurehead of the campaign.

From Basketball to Hip hop legend

Run—D.M.C.’s song called “My Adidas” changed the career path of the Superstar in the ’80s. The lyrics were a reaction to the general public looking down on the youngsters in disadvantaged neighborhoods. In the video Jam Master Jay, Run and D.M.C. were dressed in a full Adidas look with matching Superstars. This evolved in the two parties engaging in a sponsoring of 1 million dollars.

The cross-pollination between Run—D.M.C. and Adidas went down in history as the very first sponsored collab between a sports brand and a hip hop group. At that time it was an unseen event and it changed the hip hop scene forever.

Adidas Superstar turns 50


A Cross-Culture Icon

Its growing popularity amongst skateboarders made the Superstar a jack of all trades. In 2015, a collab with the legendary Mark Gonzalez only reinforces this position. He created a special edition for Adidas: “The Gonz Adidas Superstar 80s”. The idea behind the collab was to create a plain, white sneaker that you can personalize by coloring or simply wearing it.

In 2020, the Superstar became a cross-culture icon that is loved by people around the world. Recently, Adidas launched a new project called ‘Change is a team sport’. Together with an international team of game-changers, the brand tries to make a positive impact in the area of fashion, music, arts, and sports on a local level. In a video, produced by director Jonah Hill, skater Jenn Soto is followed by a camera while she cleaves a path through a building where different artists with different backgrounds, from different generations such as Pharrell Williams and Black Pink, gather to make a change.

Adidas Superstar turns 50

Jenn Soto

Photo and video credits: Adidas 

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