Brand 101: adidas
For the second edition of Brand 101, we’ll be discussing Die Weltmarke mit den Drei Streifen. For the plebs who don’t know what that means (you should’ve taken German in high school), we’ll be talking about adidas — THE brand with the three stripes. Few things in streetwear, sports, and life in general are more recognizable than the three stripes of adidas. The lowercase “a” isn’t a typo, by the way — the brand is very peculiar about spelling its name in lowercase letters, so don’t be on social media bragging about your new “Adidas sneakers”.
Based out of Herzogenaurach, Germany —sidenote, all the cool streetwear people call it Herzo, because we’re lazy and can’t enunciate properly— adidas was founded by Adi Dassler in 1949 — so that’s where the name comes from, not All Day I Dream About S… adidas was actually launch out of a family feud between Adi and his brother, who started PUMA, which is still headquartered in Herzo. Talk about complicated family reunions.
adidas rose to global fame thanks in large part to soccer, from the iconic kits of the West German soccer team (and later the German national team) to the balls that have been used at the World Cup since 1970. The brand also became a go-to for a number of tennis players in it’s earlier years, including Stan Smith, who you may have heard of thanks to his signature shoe with adidas — if you haven’t, well, straight up we’re calling you a liar. The Stan Smith was shelved for a year and was relaunched in 2014 as part of adidas’ plan to takeover the world, or at least streetwear. While the move was one that many people doubted at first, it’s hard to argue with the results, as the Three Stripes has become the gold standard by which streetwear is measured these days.
In addition to the Stan Smith replacing human feet, adidas has been boosted (see what we did there?) by their launch of a number of new technologies and partnerships. Of course, you know that Kanye West ditched Nike for adidas a few years ago, but the German giant has also partnered with Pharell, Rita Ora, and a number of stores and brands around the world as it’s jumped to the top of the pile.
our picks from the three stripes