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Everything you ever wanted to know about the adidas Superstar

Happy birthday the Susperstar! This year, adidas iconic model celebrates its 50th anniversary, establishing itself as a timeless fashion piece worn by celebrities and athletes, and as a symbol of pop culture. Back on it's journey, from the 70s to today.
Reading time 5 minutes

In fact, there is nothing simpler: a white base, and three black stripes on the side, nothing superfluous, just the bare essentials. Even if it has often been declined in more original versions - striped, golden, velvet, with stars ... - the Superstar has always come back to basics: white and black, basic and timeless. Created in the 70s, it has been going back and forth in our closets and in our hearts, for more than 50 years now. A symbolic half-decade during which the model was able to cross trends. Back on it's journey.

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The Superstar, icon of basketball players

In the 1970s, the world of basketball was booming. The skills of athletes were developing exceptionally, and a new demand was emerging for quality sneakers. Result? adidas imagines a piece that would offer more power and protection to athletes on the field. At the start, the idea was to be able to make the rubber end of the shoe a protective detail. And they got there: adidas France launched the legendary shell-toe, along with the famous side bands. The new basketball emblem was born. Even today, basketball pros maintain a connection with the Superstar. This is the case of Liz Cambage, one of the best players of the moment. During the 2012 Olympic Games, the Australian basketball player was the first player to dunk in a match. During those same Games, she led the Australian Opals to the bronze medal and won the silver medal with them at the FIBA World Championship.

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Australian basketball player Liz Cambage © adidas

Symbol of hip-hop culture

In 1986, the hip-hop group RUN-DMC propelled the Superstar to the rank of fashion star, with the song "My adidas." With their contemporary style, without laces and with the tab of the shoe pushed forward, RUN-DMC has given the shoe - and coordinated joggings - its letters of nobility in the world of hip-hop. The song was then a reaction to the anti-sneakers song by Felon Sneakers.

Darryl McDanniels , member of DMC , explained to MTV at the time: "The song is not only about sneakers, it is much more than that. It is a reaction intended for people who watch b-boys and say, "These kids are just trouble-makers, they don't know anything." They judge us by our appearance, without knowing anything about what we have in mind."

The most significant moment? When the group, then in concert at Madison Square Garden in New York, invited the public to proudly brandish their Superstar in full concert. A pivotal moment, since following this event, the group concluded a sponsorship contract worth a million dollars with adidas, a real revolution for the time. Never before has a sports brand sponsored a musical group, even less rappers. This contract completely transformed the partnerships between brands and musicians and after this, many others followed.

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From basketball to skateboarding, there is only one step

Even today, the Superstar is the essential skateboarding sneaker. Its rubber sole was perfect for slipping on stage, and this was not lost on skaters. With these adidas sneakers, they can slide their feet quickly on the concrete floor of skateparks. What's more, the Superstar is a solid shoe that doesn't wear out easily. Perfect for a rough sport where the feet play the main role. Then will be born the special edition The Gonz adidas Superstar 80s, where the black bands became white, like a blank canvas where the claws generated by sport would become the expression of creativity.

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© adidas

Superstar, "super star" basketball for fashion people

Victoria Beckham, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Kylie Jenner … There are countless celebrities who have adopted the Superstar in their shoe dressing. The most symbolic celebrity to date? Pharrell Williams, who reinterpreted the model in 2015, declining it in no less than 50 ultra-vitamin colors, as the fashion translation of his legendary tube "Happy." A number of collaborations reinterpreting the model then followed. Four years later, it was Prada who affixed its label last December alongside the legendary black bands to make them 100% couture sneakers.

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The Pharrell Williams Superstar Collection © adidas

2020, the new Superstar is born

After 50 years of reinterpreting the Superstar, the iconic basketball has undergone a little facelift. While in the 70s, the shoe stood out for its wide shape and its big toe, in 2020 the sole of the Superstar becomes narrower and the shell-toe flattens slightly, while the holes next to the bands become more small. A constantly evolving silhouette therefore, to go from a sports shoe a little bit to a basketball in line with current trends. A model that may well be talked about for the next 50 years.

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Superstar lifted version 2020 © adidas

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