The adidas Originals Stan Smith revival has been a big hit over the last year, and the man who gifted the Three Stripes his namesake is loving it. The shoe recently won the Footwear News 'Shoe of the Year' award and Stanley Roger Smith himself showed up to the gala to accept the gong. GQ grabbed some time with him while he was in town, and he proved he was pretty clued in with the renaissance of his signature sneak. Peep an excerpt below...
How did Adidas originally approach you to endorse a shoe?
Well the shoe was already created, and they wanted to get in the U.S. market. I was the number one player in the world at the time, so it was sort of a natural thing. I didn't have an agreement with a shoe company and they wanted me to wear the shoe. They already had Robert Haillet's name on it, they actually had both our names for about three years.
In all the time it's been around, there's been a few special editions. Do you have a favorite, or do you like original recipe?
Well, you know, you can go online and create your own shoe now. So I created a black suede shoe with kind of a maroon in the back—sort of my USC colors. Now they're kind of faded because I've worn them so much. They're very comfortable with black shoelaces with a maroon stripe on the side of them. That's been my favorite pair. But I wore the Millenniums playing tennis because they have a lot more cushion.
My friend's grandfather bought six pair right when you signed on, and he's got five left in the box in his closet in Boca Raton where he retired. People go to crazy lengths for sneakers these days.
Oh, I've got all sorts of great stories about people who buy a dozen shoes. There's a great story about a father who used to buy his son a pair of shoes. And the father passed away, and every anniversary of the father's death, he would get a new pair of shoes. Sort of a tradition.
And this one guy, a reporter in England actually, met his girlfriend wearing the shoes. It was a pretty important time in his life—he married her about six years later and got married in the shoes.
So, if you had to pass the torch on to another tennis player—which I hope you never do, because I hope you live forever—who do you think would be good?
It would be Roger Federer. He's a classy dude, and he's also a little bit into fashion. When he plays at Wimbledon, he usually has an outfit that's unique. He plays a little bit like us old guys used to play, with one hand. He's got a lot of variety in his game, and he's my favorite player now. And he would be a great guy to take on the mantle.
Read the full interview at GQ here.