What defines somebody as ‘influential’? Is it their numbers? Their social status? Or is it merely because we have defined them as so?
At their foundation, influencers are people who affect change. They are individuals who inspire others, and they embody something that people aspire to be. Influencers have long played a crucial role in sneaker culture, a scene that was arguably an early adopter of the phenomenon. The influence basketball players have off court with their footwear choices often trumped their power moves in the game. And on a more pedestrian level, one’s influence was certainly felt when the necessity of being within a sneaker boutique’s ‘inner circle’ was the only way to gain access to super-limited kicks, long before the days of robots and raffles.
But while much air time has been given to the influential men who have delivered sneakers to icon status, women have had – and continue to have – a significant hand in influencing and shaping sneaker trends and culture. And the 3-Stripes have been there right by their side.
adidas Originals has never been a brand that tells women how to wear their sneakers. We do not patronize women with style tips and shrink-and-pink executions, but rather we give women the cultural license to wear our sneakers in their own way and interpret it how they want. This democratic approach naturally attracted female influencers to the brand long before the term formally existed. And it is these creative women who are the culture changers.
Case in point: the Stan Smith, arguably the most well-known sneaker in the world … fashion designer Phoebe Philo, the benchmark of contemporary minimal cool, consciously chose to wear not heels but Stan Smiths on the walkouts after her fashion week showings. She wasn’t referencing a style or trend, she made them her own, and because of who she is and how she is regarded.
The same can be said for Kate Moss, the British supermodel who epitomizes effortless subcultural cool. During the ‘90s it was Moss’s grunge style that would define a decade of dressing and it’s her influence that can be traced back to the cultural traction that Gazelle enjoys still today.
Her inclusion in the FW16 Gazelle ‘Remember the Future’ campaign demonstrates her continued influence on both men and women today. Speaking of her accidental influencer days, Moss has said “…I was and have always been an adidas girl.”
So who is today’s influential adidas Originals woman?
We’d argue that she is embodied in the women we continue to highlight in our brand messaging, such as the inimitably stylish, multi-talented designer Yoon (@yoon_ambush) who continually pushes creative boundaries, or the stylist, blogger and image-maker Aleali May (@alealimay) whose personal style transcends streetwear and designer with effortless ease. The adidas Originals woman walks her own path with creative courage and doesn’t respond to gimmicks.
With the recent relaunch of the Gazelle franchise, adidas Originals is handing over the iconic style to the next generation to let them define how they will embrace it. The archival image of Kate Moss is re-appropriated and remixed in the campaign to influence and inspire a new generation.
How will you create your future? Who will inspire the next generation? Who will be the next influential adidas Originals woman?