Highsnobiety Talk New adidas Colabs
The boys at Everysize have cornered streetwear blogging overlord David Fischer, CEO and publisher of Highsnobiety, to chat about his team's fantastic takes on the adidas Ultra Boost and Campus 80s.
David, Congratulations on your second ever sneaker colab. After Puma, now adidas. How did that happen?
Technically it's our third, we worked on a small collaborative project with Ronnie Fieg many years ago. It was an ASICS Gel-Lyte 3. But on a bigger scale, yeah, it is our second and thanks for the kind words. We approached adidas some time ago to do something for our 10th anniversary and the adidas Consortium team was right away excited to work with us on the special occasion.
Why did you choose these two models?
At first I wanted to do the Ultra Boost and the Stan Smith. But since the Stan Smith just had a couple of strong years, we opted for the Campus 80s. I love these vintage silhouettes by adidas, as they are among the most timeless sneakers. I really wanted the pack to speak for both our past and our future. I will be wearing these two for another decade for sure.
Why two shoes?
As I mentioned above, it was really about showing our past and our future and I think we perfectly covered that with the two silhouettes.
The Ultra Boost is now a hype model, especially, after Kanye wore it several times. When you started working on it, could you imagine that it would become this desirable?
Not at all. I mean, I loved it from the day it came out. Not only because of the design, but also because of the comfort. Most people tend to forget that shoes have very long lead times, so we started working on this project over a year ago. At that time the Boost was already a much loved shoe but it was not hyped nearly as much as it is now.
Why the Campus?
I am just in general a big fan of those adidas silhouettes. Personally I wear the Campus a lot, as well as the Gazelle and the Stan Smith. The simple design and timeless nature of the style has always attracted me.
What was the inspiration for the shoes in general?
My main concern was to keep them timeless. The details really make them special. The Campus comes in a light grey glove leather that has never been used before on the shoe. There's also a nice contrasting tan leather lining and subtle branding. The Boost comes in a taupe wool knit, which is just gorgeous and we are the first to use a leather cage on the shoe. I wanted to use luxury materials on athletic shoes in timeless colors. That’s all, no more and no less to it!
How many samples did you need and how was it working on these two different models at the same time? We had two sample sets of the sneakers. adidas supported us a lot in the design process. They are used to working with people that are not shoe designers. The process was pretty straight forward and we really only had to fix a couple of small details after the first round.
When it comes to colabs these days, most of them sell, without having a specific story. What do you think about the current sneaker trends regarding colabs?
You know, not every sneaker needs a story. Why does every sneaker have a name today? I remember the time when there was a sneaker and it had a colorway. If it was strong, it sold. It is incredible to see the amount of collaborations these days and how much of them also sell through at retail. Especially having closely watched and written about this market for over 10 years now, it is of course great to see how far the market has come. It does seem like a little much these days and I do wonder how much longer that can go on.
Talking about colabs. What adidas colab was your personal highlight so far, excluding yours?
In general? That is really hard, as there were quite a few. I almost see myself being more excited about the in-line releases at the moment. I still love the old BAPE collaborations, to be honest. I really liked the recent Solebox project, I thought that was smart and well designed.
How was it to work with a big player like adidas?
Honestly, it was really easy. Not complicated, we worked with a small group of people that supported us really well on the project. I was surprised how easy it was.
How important is it for you tell a story with a shoe release?
I think it depends how strong the story is. If the story is great, then it of course it makes the project so much stronger. But I don't think there needs to be a story every single time for every single shoe.
Any more plans to work on more products, like outerwear and apparel?
Yes! We have a couple more coming, all launching in the next few weeks. Another shoe project, an accessories project and also an eyewear project. Then things should calm down again, but we really love getting together with brands, artists and just friends to work on these things. It brings our brand into the real world, which is really exciting.
What else can we expect from Highsnobiety?
Video is a big focus for us this year, so look out for a lot more coming in that field. We also just launched a podcast, a mixtape series with high profile DJs and Facebook Live sessions. We are trying to stay busy!