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adidas goes from simple beginnings to cultural dominance
adidas sportswear began in a humble wash room but would soon find itself on top of the heap.
That room, off his mother’s kitchen, was where Adolf “Adi” Dassler began his working career delivering laundry for his mother’s business. But that got him thinking about ways to help athletes improve their performance. So it was also where he first set up shop and continued his father’s work in shoes and garments and began to think that specialized shoes for each sport could improve performance.
The world would soon learn how right he was.
Right on pitch
Just a few years after focusing his young company’s attention on athletes, Dassler’s vision became reality in 1928 when 800-meter runner Lina Radke took home gold from the international games held in Amsterdam, where she set a world record wearing Dassler’s shoes.
As the company’s stature grew, Dassler rebranded it to include the name “adidas” – his nickname – in 1949. In that German town of Herzogenaurach, his 47 employees got to work on the first shoe to bear the now-famous 3-Stripes branding of adidas footwear and apparel.
What really put adidas on the international map was when the German national team shocked the soccer world by upsetting the juggernaut Hungarians in the 1954 world cup while wearing a new screw-in stud design from Dassler. That shoe was revolutionary in other ways, too, featuring a low-cut top, a soft toe, and a rubber interior.
It was 1967 when adidas released its first piece of apparel, named after German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer. The lightweight fabrication that allowed easy movement and removal, and featured the company’s 3-Stripes down both sleeves and legs, became a staple for athletes in all disciplines.
Then and now – Trefoils and more
The eyes of the world turned toward Germany in 1972 when Munich hosted the international games. That also was when adidas debuted its Trefoil logo, which stood for performance then and stands today as a symbol of enduring legendary street style.
The brand evolved through the 1980s, adding microchips to running shoes and merging the worlds of art and sport when hip-hop icons Run-DMC rapped about “My adidas.” When they wore the Superstar on stage, the trio fully brought the athletic brand into the realm of pop culture.
Look for the adidas Originals name on some of the brand’s most enduring, sport-inspired styles. From track tops with oversized Trefoil logos to track pants with the 3-Stripes, and even garments with a mix of the two.
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