Wimbledon Finale 1972. Which one of you remembers this finale? Nobody? Okay, that's probably because most of you just haven't been to this planet yet. Probably many of you don't even know that they are still part of this final in 2019. Why? Just look down and see what’s on your feet today. Maybe you have something in common with one of the finalists of that time and are responsible for the success story of the following sneaker. For all those who still have question marks over their heads: it's about Adidas Stan Smith.
Let The Story Begin
It all began a few years earlier. In 1964 Adidas released the shoe as a signature model of the French tennis player Robert Haillet. When he retired, Adidas was looking for an athlete to be the can opener for the US market. So it was fitting that Stanley Roger Smith - or Stan Smith for short - who was the number 1 in the tennis world rankings at the time, could be enthused about the shoe. The Adidas Stan Smith was born. For a long time the Stan Smith was worn only by tennis players, but by the time Run DMC released the hit "My Adidas", dedicated to the Adidas superstar, in 1986 (you don't have to know anything about the Wimbledon Finale 1972, but you should know the song), it also established itself in the fashion world. The hype was big, but it also came to an end with Stan Smith. At the end of the 2000s the Stan Smith was sold in every shop and sometimes even as junk goods in the outlets, so Adidas decided to take it off the market in 2012.
Photo: Getty Images by Adidas
The Hype is Real
Of course a perfect strategy had been considered to resurrect the Stan Smith like a phoenix from the ashes. When the shoe was almost nowhere available, Adidas supplied influential stars and influencers with the now coveted model. Stars such as Pharell Williams, who also designed several Stan Smith series, Ellen DeGeneres or Gisele Bündchen, were the new ambassadors of the classic. In 2014 he was relaunched in selected stores and the plan to reignite the hype flame was a success. Well played, Adidas. And the hype hasn't subsided since then, and collaborations with designers such as Yohji Yamamoto, Raf Simmons and Jeremy Scott have emerged. And we at Born Originals have also discovered Stan Smith for ourselves and brought our designs to the silhouette. And let's be honest, who of you doesn't know the Stan Smith or has ever thought about buying a pair, of which more than 50 million pairs have been sold since 1971?
Photo: Encore Atlanta
Game, Set, Match
If you're one of those who already own a pair, now you know who's looking at you every time you adjust your tongue. Stan Smith himself has come to terms with the fact that so few know who's behind the shoe, as he laughingly said in an interview: "Let's face it, hardly anyone younger than 50 today has ever seen me play". His son once asked him if the shoe was named after him or if he was named after the shoe.
I'm curious to see what Adidas will come up with in the next few years for one of the most influential sneakers of all time. The plans are probably already written. For all who are interested in the final for 1972 besides the shoe: Stan Smith won the final in five sets against the Romanian Ilie Nastase...