It is Friday afternoon. The weekend is approaching. Work is simply a barrier that is teasing you with déjà vu flashbacks of freedom. You could skip down to the third paragraph for the information on the shoes, or, if are so inclined, take a stroll with me through a narrative (some might call it rambling) as an appetizer.

There is a unique relationship of give and take between sneaker fan and sneaker brand. Often, I hear dissatisfaction with the perceived asymmetrical balance of power between provider and consumer. A picture is painted, as with most corporations, of an elitist conclave of individuals who take advantage of, and abuse their consumer base with unreasonable prices, declining quality, and lack of product to satiate the demand they themselves generate. Although this is an opinion which is readily refuted with simple analysis of the economics of business, it is not a meritless argument. Conversely however, with many of the brands who we look to for our fix of leather, nubuck, suede, etc there is simply an undeniable amount of brand loyalty which companies would be foolish not to take advantage of. This is an aspect of business which has its roots at the most basic building block of economics, supply and demand.  As the demand for shoes grows companies must use that as a competitive advantage to increase their revenue, recognition, and customer base in order to reinvest back into their business in order to continue the supply for our demand. Regardless of how much it costs to make and market and produce a shoe, companies also have to look at profit margin as a competitive advantage. “Could” is not always the question to ask when evaluating decisions, but rather “should” an action be taken. It is a discussion which I have seen on social media, and even been a part of, but the truth is that none of us know for sure. Would we act differently if we had CEO in front of our name, and shareholders with their hands out looking for dividends? However to play devil’s advocate, shouldn’t companies have the customers who continually come back to them at the forefront of their considerations?

At the end of the day, for me, and a large portion of sneaker fans it comes down to the love. Whether that is the love of the shoe, the love of the chase, the love of the attention, the love of the design it all boils down to an emotional connection which is gained from each shoe. Before we begin a debate on the strategy, morality, and economics of business let me step down from my soap box and direct your attention to a company who is looking to return that love.

Last week the Three Strips of Adidas announced that they were partnering with a few of their biggest enthusiasts and most loyal collectors to recreate a selection of classic Adidas models.  The German based company flew five individuals to their headquarters to give them a chance to design their own signature Adidas model. The designers come from all over the world, no two from the same country. In the video explaining this project, we are able to see what it would be like to step into the factory and onto the design floor of a major sneaker retailer. Excitement is plain on each individual face as they see a small piece of what goes into creating the shoes they love. In a time when there are many cynical perspectives on everything, not exclusively sneakers, it is refreshing and reinvigorating to see that emotions that shine from each designers face.

I applaud Adidas for doing this, for returning the loyalty which so many people have for so many brands and allowing fans to take part in the creative process they have admired from afar. It is not uncommon for outside designers to collaborate on the creation of a shoe. From celebrities like Big Sean and A$AP Rocky, to boutiques like Bodega and BTNC, designing a shoe which will actually be produced for consumption is an idea which we simply toy with to indulge our inner visionary, but one that stays a nomadic thought. So for that Adidas this writer applauds your efforts.

Check out the video below which showcases the highlights of the designer’s trip to Adidas headquarters in Germany. Adidas has much more information about this project on their tumblr, as well as individual videos introducing us to each of the five collectors.

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Source: Adidas Originals