How the adidas Forum Newsroom Inspired a New Generation of Creators
The adidas Forum Newsroom was set up as a collaborative space for a hand-picked crew of Creators – a diverse bunch of photographers, designers, artists and creatives – to hone their skills and ideas in celebration of the classic adidas Forum basketball shoe.
The Creators channelled the unique spirit of their predecessors to continue the adidas Forum’s presence as a symbol of on-foot individuality and style – 35 years after its on-court debut. They also explored what the retro model represented when it was viewed through a creative lens. Enriched by their unique experience, the Creators say they left the Newsroom with a renewed drive to promote expression in the world around them.
The adidas Forum Newsroom was based at True East, a flexible creative space in Collingwood, Melbourne. Consisting of a main studio floor, the venue gave Creators breakout areas to focus on their individual activities. The Newsroom also provided the Creators with multimedia resources and tools to carry out their Forum ideas. In addition to that, invaluable mentorship and advice from other experienced creatives helped the Creators focus their ideas.
The Newsroom was run just like a real-life media hub, with a collaborative process involving idea creation, individual pitching, technical help, and teamwork – which some Creators credited as making the ‘dream work!’
By considering themes including Identity and Community, Sustainability, Culture, Creativity, and Empathy and Equality, the Creators extracted plenty of inspiration from the Forum, which was then distilled back into tangible mediums. These included videos, photography, artwork and fashion – all outlets the Creators specialised in.
Each Creator found a unique link to the adidas Forum, with some celebrating their very personal connection to the sneaker. For example, basketball runs deep in the family of Beza Mickan-White, a model and event planner, whose mum’s first cousins played the sport at a national level. Beza reconceptualised this link with her short film, The Long-Standing Forum Love Affair, which bridged the heritage of the Forum to its place in the modern world, while weaving in her personal story.
Other Creators treated the adidas Forum in the literal sense of its name by unifying others in the common space. Jasmine Ambarwati used the Newsroom as a platform for fellow creatives to have their voices heard. This culminated in ,Put A(US) On, an interview series highlighting rising talents and their experiences. In keeping with Jasmine’s personal affinity for 90s aesthetics, the set of the videos incorporated retro styling, largely aided by the adidas Forum.
Following the Newsroom, we caught up with Jasmine, Beza, and Jewel Langlois to discuss their time working together, and what they took away from their projects.
So, the adidas Forum Newsroom has come to a close. What did you learn from this unique experience?
Jasmine: The experience taught me how to create a campaign for a globally renowned brand in real-life situations – with real-life deadlines – in team environments. You feel unstoppable when you are creating with a talented team, you have the guidance from skilled mentors and the backing from a company as iconic as adidas. It taught me that not only do we believe in our craft as creatives, but so do many others around us.
Beza: The experience taught me to think about the importance of what message I want to give when I produce creative work. In addition to this, it taught me to be confident in my ability to bring to life my vision, especially when there are outside influences that could make it difficult to execute it the way I had hoped. I had to become more adaptable and resilient in my approach, and I am so proud of what I was able to achieve.
Jewel: I learned how to quickly adapt to roadblocks and challenges: ones that we saw coming, and ones that we didn’t. This gave me a more refined skill of adapting to every situation while creating alongside an amazing crew, which I can truly appreciate now!
Tell us about some of your favourite highlights from the adidas Forum Newsroom.
Jasmine: The Foot Locker x adidas Forum Fridays! It was an honour to be on an interview panel representing both Foot Locker and adidas. It was an experience unlike any other to be seated at a table and chat with other inspirational like-minded creatives. I also believe that this kind of representation is so important for creative industries.
Another highlight was the production for the first episode of my new series, Put A(US) On. This was a proud moment for me. I creative directed, curated and hosted this entire series myself. I couldn’t have executed this project without my devoted and talented team.
Jewel: The first day of production 100 per cent: we had a few weather challenges with rain, but we prevailed! Teamwork makes the dream work. Another top highlight was being in the adidas Forum Newsroom itself, meeting all the other members, and communicating our ideas. That was incredibly inspiring.
How important do you think this experience was for all involved? Why?
Jasmine: The adidas Forum Newsroom gave us a platform that values creative expression and authenticity. This was evident with adidas as we all curated self-led projects and showcased our skills in ways that we thought best represented ourselves. We were given creative freedom.
Beza: The experience couldn’t have come at a better time. It provided me with a community of diverse individuals, a space for creativity, and an outlet for all the emotions and hardships we have been dealing with these past 18 months. The space we worked in was inspiring in itself: the couch, the lights, and – my fave – the court. From day one we all walked in feeling excited and full of anticipation. It was the first time I’d felt this way in a very long time.
Jewel: I feel as though we all felt some sort of gratitude and honour being selected together, and really having the chance to showcase our creative and innovative skills on a level where we have been recognised by such a major brand. Not only that, but having the opportunity to work alongside other amazing Melbourne creatives as well. That was the cherry on top.
What did you learn about the adidas Forum?
Jasmine: The heritage of the adidas Forum as a classic basketball sneaker. It is amazing how the history of a basketball sneaker can be translated and re-created in a multitude of ways by so many different kinds of creatives.
Beza: As a big basketball fan, this opportunity was an absolute dream. I have played and loved basketball since I was seven years old, so being part of an adidas collaboration, and immersing myself in the story of a classic silhouette, was a dream come true.
Jewel: No idea is too big! I loved seeing how creative everyone became with their conceptual idea about the narrative behind the shoe. In some way, the story behind the Forum connected to each of us, and we presented our reformed version of that narrative into our own.
And what did you learn about each other?
Jasmine: The rest of the Forum crew is so talented, and their ability to create alongside each other was so evident. Each had different skill sets to bring to the table. I’m so thrilled to have met and worked with these individuals, who are literally pioneers in their own right.
Beza: I was only familiar with a couple of the Creatives before this collaboration. Now, I have a phone full of photos and amazing memories to cherish. Hosting the #ForumFridays content series gave me the opportunity to delve deeper into some of the Creatives’ stories, values and influences. I’m so thankful that I was able to be part of this experience, and I will cherish the memories!
Jewel: Even if it seems as if there’s no way – there’s always a way! We all truly excelled.
The relaunched adidas Forum is out now in multiple colourways, including the exclusive white and black rendition available in Mid and Low options from Foot Locker.