Essay: Famous Shoes

by Gary Aspden on 18 July 2013

Gary Aspden talks us through the history of some of the celebrity trainers on display in the Spezial exhibition.

Gary Aspden talks us through the history of some of the celebrity trainers on display in the Spezial exhibition.

adidas trainers designed by Peter Saville

These are Peter Saville's shoes… Peter was quite cynical about brand collaboration. When I sat down with him about this, I had been sent the brief and it was to present to Peter and I kept the brief in my bag because I just knew if he saw the brief… And he was adamant he wanted to see the brief. So I got it out and he was like, 'What kind of language is this?' So he said, 'I want to basically explore the reality of brand collaboration and put the brief on the shoe'. And so, people's shoes had all these different words on them and he was like, 'No-one really speaks like this, do they?' I think Peter was slightly disappointed because when he went Germany to show the theme to adidas, he had the vision of the corporate bad guys and when he got in there and met the people it was very different! But they loved the idea.

adidas trainers designed by Yohji Yamamoto

Yohji wanted to use these technical adidas shoes. When that collaboration came about there were a lot of parallels between Yohji and adidas. Because Yohji describes himself as a craftsman, more than a fashion designer, which is the same mentality that adidas have. The ones that Ian Brown wore in the 'Fear' video when he is riding the bicycle – those were the Yohji shoes.

adidas trainers signed by Snoop Dogg

When I work at Adidas on the Global Marketing Team I started to get shoes signed by people coming through the office. This is a selection of them. There are actually quite a lot more of them and the girls who now work for Adidas kind of kept that idea going, so at the office we have a lot of signed shoes. These are signed by everybody from Public Enemy to Pharrell Williams.

adidas trainers designed by Flea

These were a thing we did with Red Hot Chili Peppers. Flea's ones were never put into production – we did two different designs and we were only going to produce one shoe and we ended up going with Anthony’s design. We made a few pairs of Flea's shoes just for him, so I  had them delivered to his house in Malibu, which was essentially wild with graffiti all over the driveway, and he was hopping about in a head-to-toe yellow jogging suit.




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