The adidas Stan Smith shoe is one of the most iconic footwear styles in existence. Frequently voted a classic, since taking a break a few seasons ago, its status as a shoe and cult icon has only grown. Uniting streetwear with high-end style, this model is one of the few truly unisex silhouettes out there. The ancient cliché of the simple shoe as a canvas rings true in this case – too often the terrace appreciation of adidas and the hip-hop affiliated, NYC -bred love of the 3-Stripes mark can run in completely different lanes, but with the Stan Smith shoe model, they merge, respecting the simplicity and versatility of the shoe. Some would say the secret to the Stan Smith sneaker is two-fold. The Adi Dassler design philosophy of “form following function” led to a simplistic design combined with functionality. Combining this with the tennis regulations of the time, lead to a white leather shoe that was pure in function, as well as, design. To this day the simple perforated stripe design not only gives the shoe a clean look, but also necessary breathability.
As the accredited Best Selling Shoe of All Time, it’s little surprise that there are imitators, but no one has managed to top the ideal of tennis shoe design. From high fashion to commercial outlets, imitations of the Stan Smith shoe’s simplicity and design are everywhere, yet no one has managed to top the timeless design to date 42 years on, this shoe still remains ageless. For all the remixes, restorations, variants, rarities and countries of origin, the Stan Smith shoe is a true Original.
Simply put, since making its way from the tennis court to the streets, it has grown to become the best selling shoe of all time with over 40 million pairs sold. That said, the actual story of the Stan Smith isn’t. When growing American Tennis icon, Stan Smith, began wearing the world’s first leather tennis shoes in 1971, they actually featured the name of a former French tennis player. After two successful seasons, with victories at both the US Open and Davis Cup events in ‘71 and Wimbledon in ’72, the decision was made to officially re-christen the simple white leather silhouette to the Stan Smith and history was written, though even today, French-made editions remain a grail. Following the name change in 1972 the new Stan Smith sneaker took the stage with Stan’s name gracing the shoe box and his iconic silhouette image, scruffy long hair and all, added to the shoe’s tongue.
And, yes, it has just hit shelves worldwide. It’s true #StanIsBack. Yet again.