British-Jamaican menswear designer Grace Wales Bonner has designed several iterations of highly covetable Adidas collaborations. Seen on cool kids from East Hollywood to the Lower East Side, Adidas Originals by Wales Bonner offers vibrant colorways and reflects research on the music and photography of Burkina Faso in West Africa during the 1970s and ’80s. The Italian fashion house’s jewel-toned versions of the Gazelles, an Adidas Originals style, draw inspiration from Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele’s memories of the 1980s and ’90s and champion the signature three-stripe style.
While the Samba’s story is laced with sport and function, its genesis gives the sneaker cultural relevance—and is part of the reason style icons love to design their own take on the style. “People are not buying Sambas to play soccer. They’re not buying Stan Smiths to play tennis,” Omondi explains further. “They’re wearing them for the heritage. The shoe is part of the fashion zeitgeist because of the lifestyle and culture it represents.” The trainer with trend potential has evolved vastly since its original form, and new collaborations and colorways featuring the Samba and other three-stripe classics continue to add layers to a story that extends far beyond style.
The New York–based brand Noah celebrates Adidas’s beloved styles of the 1980s and ’90s with several three-stripe iterations, including a Vintage Runner Sneaker, in retro colorways. Adidas and Ivy Park released a new style, Super Sleek, which is a modern take on the Samba style and features a platform sole and the iconic three-stripe marking. American professional skateboarder Dennis Busenitz has collaborated with Adidas to create flat, three-stripe styles that can work equally for skating or as a lifestyle shoe. Khaite teamed up with Adidas to design a monochromatic suede version of the German brand’s Country O.G. style, which is a reinvention of the original 1970s runner.
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