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Stan Smith gets lifelong deal with Adidas

By Kristopher Fraser


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Karl Lagerfeld isn't the only person in the business who has a fashion contract for life. Stan Smith has signed a lucrative deal with Adidas for life.

The tennis champion, who first partnered with the brand in 1973 to promote a white leather tennis shoe with a green heel tab and three perforated stripes, has made himself into a fashion icon off these shoes alone. French tennis player Robert Haillet originally backed the shoe, but after he retired Adidas signed a five-year deal with Smith.

The shoe became a cultural staple, and up until 2005 Smith received a flat-fee from Adidas until his agent negotiated he receive royalties for each pair sold. In 2011, the shoe came to the eyes of the high fashion crowd when former Celine creative director Phoebe Philo wore them to walk the finale of the brand's runway show.

To reposition the sneaker in the market, Adidas ceased production of it for two years and brought it back for a triumphant return in 2014. The shoe is now one the top selling products for Adidas.

“The Stan Smith is one of our most iconic and recognizable classic white leather sneaker styles,” said Torben Schumacher, general manager of Adidas Originals and Style, to WWD. “Its timeless design has transcended generations. The sneaker has been an integral part of the Originals history and will continue to have a lasting impact in the years to come.”

The Stan Smith and Adidas partnership will be celebrated with the release of a sneaker named #StanSmithForever that honors the shoe’s original design. It will be available to purchase on December 8.

photo: via adidas.com
Stan Smith