RICH THE KID, SABER & MORE AT ADIDAS’ X18+ WC EVENT IN LA

While the world is aware that brands like to put in money and effort into their campaign events, it’s safe to say that as of late adidas has risen the bar, especially with what they’ve done out here in Los Angeles – their 747 event for basketball back in February being a prime example. Last week the sportswear giant went at it again for its soccer division to celebrate its latest innovation for the sport, coinciding of course with the 2018 World Cup. If you’ve been following us – and any other soccer-orientated platform for that matter – you’ll already be well aware of adidas Soccer’s X18+ silhouette, a slim and sleek, laceless offering that focuses on the power of speed. It’s been dubbed “the fastest and lightest laceless boot available.”

Highlighting its release, the X18+ Energy Mode event brought in crowds to experience a live customization of adidas soccer kits, enjoy the open bars and food courtesy of Sweet Chick, and to witness a live Tango League with an MVP to be chosen to win a trip to Russia to compete in the global Tango League final. Rolling up to the event, which took place at adidas’ The Base location in Los Angeles – yup, the same as where we hold our The Association game nights – we were set loose to enjoy all the aforementioned happenings and then some.

While soccer was very much the main focus of the day, adidas managed to mix in music and art with the beautiful game by inviting OG Graffiti legend Saber, who conducted a live art installment that saw him spray painting over a wall of soccer balls, each being handed out to the public along with a Saber signature. The main event, however, was when adidas brought out Queens-native Rich the Kid who got the crowd into a frenzy. To cap the night off, a squad of motorbike riders tore up the cement outside – from wheelies to donuts – all in a bid to create some near-deafening noise to celebrate the Tango League MVP winner: Melvyn Owen Perez Cortez – congrats, kid!

While we managed to enjoy ourselves at the event, if there’s a work opportunity, you know we’ll take it, so we asked adidas if they could sit us down with its soccer division’s merchandising manager Joseph Sleven to talk all things X18+, as well as his thoughts on the current landscape of soccer culture. Check out the interview below, as well as our official visual recap of the event throughout.



To start, can you summarize adidas’ new X18 Energy Mode pack for those that are still unfamiliar with the innovation?
Put it frankly, the thought process behind the design of the shoe was to build something for the fastest player possible, down to the look, down to the field, down to the weight. Everything about it is supposed to enable our most explosive – our fastest players – to perform at their top level.

So there’s obviously a lot of aspects when it comes to playing soccer in terms of product design. Why focus on speed for this release?
When we create the range, and when we look at our footwear, there’s any number of players that take part or participate in the game. So for us, the predator is that person who controls the game, they dictate the tempo, their touch, their field or class… everything they do can kind of permeate throughout the team. X players are extremely explosive with getting to the end of the pitch and putting the ball in the back of the net. Nemesis is for those agility players who are really unpredictable – they don’t really fit into a box. Maybe they’re floating around the field but they have these moments of magic that you can’t recreate. And then the Copa is the boot. It’s the soccer player… It’s almost your favorite player’s favorite boot. So everything within that portfolio speaks to different players of the game recognizing that no two players are the same.

Can you speak about the thoughts behind the X18+’s colorway and the overall aesthetics of the shoe?
Well, first and foremost it needed to look fast and speak specifically to that speed player. So you look at its sleek minimalistic design and all these elements which are kind of pulling back and giving it that almost movement visual – even when it’s stagnant it looks like it’s moving. That’s what we want for the speed silo. When we talk about the flash you have these iridescent parts at the branding, as well as on the sole of the shoe. When we talk about colorway, again when you’re on the field you want it to pop. You want something that really jumps out. So this blue is really shocking, it kind of jumps out at you and it really speaks to this silo because it’s like nothing else within the footwear family right now. When we talk about being fashion-forward, with bringing it on to the street or into the cage, the fact that it’s laceless for us is our top technology. We wanted that to be something that also lent itself to being worn with shorts or as you can see in the cage. It doesn’t just necessarily have performance tooling only. There’s a lot of, I would say, fashionable detailing in there, whether it be raises where there would be lasing, or for that speed look, we’ve given it that see-through aesthetic on the upper, or even the flash on the bottom. So a lot of things come from just thinking through the 365 of what our players’ day looks like.

Moving on from the X18+, with you coming from adidas, how aware are you with the way that soccer is going on a cultural standpoint, or what it looks like when it comes to say fashion, music, or art? Is that something that adidas is very much up to date with?
Absolutely. I think that’s really what they look at when they’re putting everything together. So even beyond cleats, take for instance jerseys, we look at that and recognize that these aren’t just specific to playing on the pitch. We’re looking at the hem line, looking at shoulder drop lines, the technology, and those tech details, or even call outs for that country specifically, those are things that we feel lives on the pitch as well as off the pitch. So it’s recognizing that again, soccer is 365 for people who live, breathe, eat, and sleep the sport. And beyond that, when you look at what we’re offering, it’s not just cleats, it’s not just performance jerseys. We have seasonal specialty product that is bespoke to Argentina or Mexico, but it’s really for the street specifically. Maybe not for an avid consumer, but somebody who recognizes that they are a casual fan of this club and that they can wear that shirt, they can wear the pants or the woven shorts, creating a whole offering across every federation, across every club that allows you to rep no matter the circumstances – after, before, or during a game. We’re looking at product holistically now through that lens of the entire year and day.

Last question: speaking of repping, with the World Cup underway, do you have a country that you’re rooting for?
For me specifically, I mean I would love to see Messi get one, right! But honestly, as a fan of the sport, I just want good games. I want to see just incredible moments, the ones that give you chills and that keep you wanting more, and I think when you put the best countries in the world together, you’re going to get those moments inevitably. So I’m just really looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds.

Images by Ben Higginbotham.

THE SHOE SURGEON TALKS ADIDAS SOCCER COLLAB

Always one to take existing sneaker silhouettes to new heights through artistic customization, Dominic Chambrone AKA The Shoe Surgeon adds to his coveted roster of sneakers with his latest Electricity Copa Rose 2.0 for adidas Football. The shoe also plays a part in a collection of soccer-meets-basketball sneakers that the skilled artist made exclusively for The Association, an ongoing soccer league held by yours truly that brings together teams assembled by brands and companies within our culture, including Beats by Dre, Complex, Dash Radio, FourTwoFour on Fairfax, Jason Markk, Niky’s Sport, Red Bull, and SpaceX.

The Electricity Copa Rose 2.0 is a clear stand out (well… they kind of all are), and is comprised of an adidas Copa soccer cleat in “Electricity” as the upper fixed on to the sole taken from the adidas Derek Rose 4 basketball shoe. What’s even better is that this work of art – along with the other pairs from the aforementioned collection – are all wearable, and will be made available this Saturday May 12 exclusively on The Shoe Surgeon’s online website. Check out The Shoe Surgeon x adidas Football Electricity Copa Rose 2.0 throughout, then read our interview with the man on the whole soccer-meets-basketball collection below. Head here to see the other pairs.


In your own words, how would you describe your approach to the collection of custom sneakers you made for The Association?
My approach to the collection was really to mash up soccer and basketball, and really do it in a way where you can actually play in them as well.

What was the most challenging pair to make?
I would say that the most challenging shoe out of this collection was the adidas COPA silhouette on the Crazy BYW sole.

And if you had to pick your personal favorite pair?
My personal favorite from this collection would definitely have to be the Samba on the Dame 4 sole. I just think it’s such a classic upper on top of a futuristic basketball sole.

After finishing the whole collection, was there a pair that you expected the audience to view as the craziest?
Probably the aforementioned Crazy BYW sole on the COPA. That one’s pretty loud.


RECAP: POGBA SEASON III CAPSULE COLLECTION EVENT

A few days ago we saw the official unveiling of midfielder Paul Pogba’s latest limited edition capsule collection with adidas Football in the hear of his home country of France. The Parisian born player has put together an incredibly clean looking release dubbed “adidas Football x Pogba Season III Capsule Collection,” which consists of a range of apparel, a Paul Pogba take on the aidas Predator 18+, and accessories all made for being on and off the pitch. The design approach behind the collection stems from Paul Pogba’s own personality in and out of the field, hence the street-ready looks that we can confidently say we’d like to rock ourselves.

To celebrate the release, the man himself held an event in Paris, amidst the Eiffel Tower, that brought together the City of Light’s youth, Pogba fans and soccer enthusiasts from all over. Guests were able to partake in soccer games played on adidas Football’s digital field complete with LED screens, as well as a workshop that allowed you to create your own tabletop design. The most creatively designed field won the opportunity of playing on the aforementioned digital field with the entire French International team – not bad! Vibes was provided courtesy of comedian, impersonator, DJ, and radio host WILLAXXX who kept the energy going throughout the day.

Check out the photo recap by Dcontract of what went down during the adidas Football x Pogba Season III Capsule Collection release party throughout, then check out the limited edition collection for yourself over at adidas Football France before they run out!

Photos by Dcontract©