The Adidas footwear archive is so extensive, and their role in street fashion is so huge, that they created a separate wing of the company, Adidas Originals,
to represent these classic sneakers and represent the infamous Trefoil and Three Stripes in the street fashion market. The list of iconic designs from the brand is extensive, including silhouettes such as the Superstar, the Gazelle OG, the Stan Smith and the Hamburg. This along with classic items of apparel such as Superstar Track Top and their Premium Basics range guarantee the brand’s position in streetwear.
Illustrious History from Humble Beginnings When Adolf ‘Adi’ Dassler returned from service in the First World War to his home in Bavaria he began making sports shoes himself in the back room of his mother's house. His brother Rudolf 'Rudi' Dassler joined this new company on July 1st 1924 and they gave it the name Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory). The electricity supply in their town was so temperamental that the brothers often had to use a stationary bicycle to power their equipment. In 1936 Adi drove to the Olympic village during the games of that year and managed to convince Jesse Owen to wear a pair of his running shoes. This was the first corporate sponsorship of any African American athlete. Owen then won four gold medals, which cemented the Dassler's reputation amongst the world's top athletes for producing quality footwear. Soon orders came flying in from various national teams. This started a boom and by the beginning of World War II they were selling 200,000 pairs a year.
Fraternal Split Both Dassler brothers joined the Nazi party during the 1930's, but Rudolf always showed a greater affiliation. A rift grew between the brothers during the war. Their relationship was pushed to breaking point after an argument in a bomb shelter during an Allied attack. Towards the end of the war Rudolf was arrested by the Americans and accused of being an SS officer. He was convinced that his brother had turned him in, and this divide led to the brothers parting ways in 1947. Rudi then went on to form a new company called Ruda, which was soon renamed Puma. ‘Adi’ founded Adidas in 1948, following a split from Rudi, who went on to start rival sportswear brand Puma. The company was registered in 1949, and is based in Herzogenaurach, Germany.
Hip Hop Heritage With the rise of Hip Hop in New York in the late 1970’s, Adidas expanded from a sportswear brand to street fashion. Their iconic ‘shell toe’ Superstar shoes and Three Stripe tracksuits were cemented into popular culture by the endorsement of Hip Hop legends RUN DMC, who famously wore their Superstars with no laces and even had a hit single called ‘My Adidas’.
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