Adidas

Adolf "Adi" Dassler founded the German sportswear firm adidas, popularly known as The Three Stripes Brand, in 1949. Over the last 70 years, it has grown from its track and football roots to become a global player in the footwear market. The company's first performance-related innovation happened in 1936 within the running space, and its effect now spans football, basketball, tennis, skateboarding, fencing, and other sports. Dassler's groundbreaking canvas and rubber spiked running shoe was memorably worn by Jesse Owens in the Summer Olympics held in Germany that year. While Owens' world-record-breaking run attracted attention to adidas, the company had yet to find its identity; the spikes lacked the brand's now-signature 3-Stripes branding. (In 1952, Adidas purchased the Karhu brand from Finland.) The Superstar (1969) and Stan Smith (1973), respectively, brought the German business similar fame in the basketball and tennis worlds in the following decades. In New York, Boston, Chicago, and other places, other made-for-sports models like the adidas Top Ten (1979) and adidas Forum (1984) became lifestyle classics. Because to RUN DMC's superstardom, adidas' Superstar became the unofficial shoe of hip-hop in the 1980s. (In 2016, the shell-toe was the most popular shoe in North America.) Running silhouettes like the SL 72 (1972) and ZX 500 (1984) have ardent followers of trainers across Europe and Asia, despite being less popular in the United States. These styles have seen resurgences over the years, and are now available under the adidas Originals name. The popularity of 3-Stripes-branded sneakers has soared in recent years, thanks in part to Kanye West's Yeezy sub-label and UltraBOOST, as well as BOOST and adidas 4D cushioning. Since 2003, the German company has hosted Yohji Yamamoto's Y-3 label, which has pioneered high-fashion partnerships. Prada and Craig Green reinvented classic shapes in 2020. adidas will continue to be the global juggernaut it has been for decades thanks to relationships with Beyoncé's IVY PARK, Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, Jonah Hill, Pharrell, and others. The Three Stripes will undoubtedly continue to be a proponent of the mix of sportswear and fashion in 2021. To that goal, the company hired Jerry Lorenzo of FEAR OF GOD to spearhead its basketball category's creative and business strategy. While little is known about Lorenzo's day-to-day activities, the American designer is expected to update existing trademark sneakers for Damian Lillard, James Harden, and Derrick Rose before designing his own (and possible subsidiary). Away from the basketball court, adidas has unveiled the UltraBOOST 21, the newest chapter in the company's performance-running history.

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