Adidas

How adidas Stan Smith shoes became a fashion icon – WWD

How adidas Stan Smith shoes became a fashion icon – WWD

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adidas’ Stan Smith sneakers have transcended time and style. They were born as one tennis shoes in the 60s, but have since evolved into more of a fashion silhouette. The minimalist look here is strong, and they work because of that understated simplicity. It’s the kind of shoe that suits any wardrobe – a shoe that’s as fun to own as it is to gift to women or anyone. There are the white sneakers with green details for classic style plus modern takes and collaborations for the trendiest gifts.

adidas originally launched the sneaker as adidas Robert Haillet, named after the famous French tennis player of the same nickname. In the 70s, the shoe was rebranded and renamed for American tennis superstar Stan Smith (twice in Grand Slam singles and five-times in Grand Slam doubles) and featured his face on the tongue.

Stan Smith competed in the US Open Grand Slam tournaments in New York in 1981.
Nick Machalaba / PMC Archives

But like many athletic shoes do, the Stan Smith quickly turned into street style. Arguably the pivotal moment came when Celine’s then creative director Phoebe Philo wore a pair of Stan Smiths at the end of his fall 2010 fashion show. Her outfit was emblematic of her style – effortlessly understated and Parisian – and a symbol of what the Stan Smith could become – pure fashion. She turned the shoe into a certified cool-girl sneaker. adidas then strategically stopped producing Stan Smiths in 2011, and as the shoes’ availability dwindled, they rose in popularity on the resale market. Demand for the sneaker was higher than it had ever been.

In 2014, adidas relaunched the Stan Smith, building on the sneaker’s street style appeal. Fashion week attendees and Celebrities have flocked to the silhouette, and Stans’ celebrity stories remain legendary. For example, Victoria Beckham, a fashion girl who once said she wouldn’t be caught dead in apartments — wore Stans to complement her minimalist European outfits. Hugh Grant once told Stan Smith that he had his first kiss in the sneakers. A$AP Rocky, Kanye West, Miranda Kerr — all with a very different aesthetic — also sported the sneakers. You can also catch Julianne Moore to Stans and a suit or Kylie Jenner pairing them with leggings.

Julianne MooreStan Smiths

Julianne Moore in Stan Smith.
Jose Perez/Bauergriffin.com/MEGA

London Fashion Week Street Style Shoes

adidas Stan Smith; London Fashion Week 2015.
Kouba Dabrowski.

The shoe has lasting power thanks to its simple and durable construction. It’s made with a clean leather upper, grained rubber soles and perforated adidas detailing. Classic iterations have a pop of bright green on the ankle and some details, but newer models play with more colors for vibrant takes.

The shoe’s fundamental construction has remained largely the same over the years, but has been updated with modern additions. Some of the best Stans releases come from designer collaborations that keep the shoe feeling fresh while still staying true to its classic, cool wearability. Case in point: Stella McCartney’s understated graphic doodle style or Raf Simons’ perforated design, which transformed the three-stripe accent into the designer’s signature “R” shape. Lately, adidas has changed the composition of the shoe itself with styles that feature platform soles, suede uppers instead of leather, and recycled Parley fabrics that do better for the environment.

The Stan Smiths are particularly comfortable and, as far as leather sneakers are concerned, they do not take long to break. After about a week of wear, the leather begins to mold to the shape of your foot, making it one of our favorite sneakers all time. Adopt a sporty look by wearing them with leggings, shorts and high socks. We also love them with jeans of all fits – flared, wide leg or cropped – and warm weather summer dresses and skirts. And, they can also work for the office, paired with suits, pants, and blazers.

It’s the kind of shoe that suits all styles and all occasions. The shoe has a unisex fit for adults but also comes in versions for children and babies. Grab a pair for yourself from that special someone, below.

adidas Stan Smith, Women’s Shoes

adidas stan smith



adidas Stan Smith for women

$95

Buy now

adidas Stan Smith, Women’s Shoes



adidas Stan Smith for women

$100

Buy now

adidas Stan Smith Xtra, Women’s Shoes

adidas Stan Smith Xtra, Women's Shoes



adidas Stan Smith Xtra, Women’s Shoes

$120

Buy now

adidas Stan Smith Bonega, Women’s Shoes

adidas superstar



adidas Stan Smith Bonega, Women’s Shoes

$110

Buy now

adidas Stan Smith Pride Shoes

adidas Stan Smith Pride Shoes



adidas Stan Smith Pride Shoes

$120

Buy now

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