All Day I Dream About Skateboarding...Adidas, the German sports brand with the famous three stripes, started out from very humble beginnings when German cobbler Adolf Dassler equipped athletes competing in the 1928 Olympic games with his pioneering, handmade running shoes. The brand achieved further notoriety when they provided footwear for the ground breaking Jessie Owens during the now infamous 1936 Olympics. Since that day Adidas has grown beyond all recognition, branching out in to multiple different sporting disciplines as well as the world of fashion however, despite being an iconic part of numerous different subculture aesthetics, the brand always had a peculiar, occasionally tenuous, relationship with skateboarding. Back in the nineties skateboarding was very much a "subculture", and tightly knit one at that, with many skateboarders keen to avoid what they saw as big "corporate" brand involvement, refusing to give such companies a second look, preferring instead to wear shoes manufactured by legitimate and established skater owned brands.This attitude prevailed, leaving Adidas, despite having establishing lucrative sponsorship deals with innovators like Lance Mountain and Mark Gonzales, still very much on the outside looking in, shunned by the general skate community and seemingly overlooked. Despite the majority of the skaters being unable to see beyond the corporate image of Adidas, there were some individuals who chose to overlook it, going against the mass consensus in favour of their own creative choice. Individuals that saw the bigger picture and were able to relate to the brand's prestigious history, cultural links, iconic design and, perhaps most importantly, seemingly indestructible toes caps! Whilst other skaters may have been sighted wearing Adidas occasionally during this time period, none wore them more often, or with more proficiency, than Kareem Campbell, Joey Bast, Drake Jones and Richard Angelides, four forward thinking individuals that helped push the boundaries of skateboarding through their abundance of style and creativity. Everything about these individuals from their appearance, the way they skated and the tricks they would perform all combined to help shape and define modern street skating as we know it, and they did it all wearing Adidas! This progressive approach enabled these characters to stand out amongst their peers whilst also adding a stamp of approval that granted credibility to a brand that once seemed far removed from the skateboard fashion lexicon. Finally, it seems only fitting that the contributions of these four pioneers are finally recognised so, in conjunction with the 'Respect Your Roots' series celebrating the iconic Superstar trainer (a low cut basketball shoe first introduced by in 1969) Adidas are honouring Kareem, Joey, Drake and Richard by releasing a signature Superstar trainers in a unique colorway specifically designed for each rider. There will also be several T-shirt designs to accompany the series along with an exhibition featuring historic photography and imagery paying tribute to the contributions they made to skating and ensuring each rider’s legacy is celebrated. I don't know about you, but everyone here at Welcome is extremely excited by the prospects of this inspired and nostalgic collaboration, and we absolutely can't wait to have all four special edition shoes in store but, until that date, here is a sneak peek at the shoes as well as the aforementioned Adidas aficionados in action for you to savour and enjoy!
Richard AngelidesThe Angelides shoe is a high-top version of the Superstar and is a very clean, understated colourway with a buttery beige upper contrasting the white midsole, toecap and Stripes. The gold detailing combined with the light blue embellishments add the finishing touches to a beautiful, simplistic trainer that we are proud to say is available in store and through the website. There no other way to describe Richard Angelides' contribution to Skateboarding other than truly innovative, comfortable skating in either stance he would often produce sections skating predominantly in switch stance. This revolutionary approach helped to set the bench mark for technical skating and what was possible. Here is Richard's section from the 1997 video by Rhythm entitled 'Genesis' where he can be seen executing some of the best fronside heelflips in the game along with multiple complex ledge and manual tricks, all in what was, allegedly, his weaker stance! Just check the steez at 1:11....
Kareem CampbellKareem's shoe is the traditional Superstar model and marries a classic white leather upper with white rubber toe piece and sole. The stripes are a discreet shade of beige which, when combined with the gold detailing, work together to create a refined and timeless trainer. The Kareem Campbell Superstars are dangerously dope and they are currently looking super fresh as they sit on the shelves in store. Kareem Campbell was a style icon during the mid to late nineties. Everything about him was on point, the way he pushed, the clothes he wore, the spots he skated and the tricks he did, absolutely everything- plus he could kill it on his skateboard! Here is Kareem's section from the 1993 World Industries' film 'New World Order' where Kareem delivers a master class in all round skating, executing technically difficult tricks, but with way more pop than anyone had ever seen before and blasting them all out with style and finesse.
Drake JonesDrake's shoe is the iconic black and white combination that for many is the definitive Superstar colourway. The black suede upper paired with the black toe and sole provide the perfect platform that allows the bright white heel piece, stripes and gold detailing to really jump out. This monochrome version of the Superstar is an enduring classic, and we cant wait for them to arrive in store in early June. Just like his custom Superstar trainer Drake Jones absolutely oozes style and here is here's the proof, taken from Real Skateboards 1997 exemplary video release 'Non-Fiction' witness Drake as he simply flows, cruising around San Francisco executing smooth lines with crisp pop and finesse.
Joey BastThe final version of the special edition Superstars is Joey Bast's eye catching two tone colour way featuring an all white leather upper, black rubber sole and toecap with black leather stripes. This bold, eye catching combination looks to be both durable and stylish and we are super excited to get our hands on them when they are released in June. Here is Joey's section from Planet Earth's 1996 video 'Silver' where he can clearly be seen cruising and crushing in his usual solid style, and all whilst wearing shoes not too dissimilar to his new signature model. While everyone at Welcome is whole heartedly backing the Adidas roots series, it just doesn't feel right to end this piece without a mention of one Adidas ambassador that we feel has been sadly overlooked. That is, of course, the technical wizard from Milton Keynes... Mr Rob Selley! A man who, after killing it for years in all manner of three stripe, it would be a travesty not to mention within this post so please, lets all take a moment to enjoy Rob's part from what is possibly one of the greatest British skate videos every made the archetypal 'Mixed Media' by Panic and Blueprint.