100 years ago the brothers Adolf (“Adi”) and Rudolf Dassler made their first pair of sports shoes. Hundreds of groundbreaking designs, epic moments, and star-studded collabs later, this book presents the first visual review of the adidas shoe through more than 350 models including never-before-seen prototypes and one-of-a-kind originals.
To further develop and tailor his products to athletes’ specific needs, Dassler asked them to return their worn footwear when no longer needed, with all the shoes eventually ending up in his attic (to this day, many athletes return their shoes to adidas, often as a thank you after winning a title or breaking a world record). This collection now makes up the “adidas archive”, one of the largest, if not the largest archive of any sports goods manufacturer in the worldâ€•which photographers Christian Habermeier and Sebastian Jäger have been visually documenting in extreme detail for years.
Shot using the highest reproduction techniques, these images reveal the fine details as much as the stains, the tears, the repair tape, the grass smudges, the faded autographs. It’s all here, unmanipulated and captured in extremely high resolutionâ€•and with it comes to light the personal stories of each individual wearer. We encounter the shoes worn by West Germany’s football team during its “miraculous” 1954 World Cup win and those worn by Kathrine Switzer when she ran the Boston Marathon in 1967, before women were officially allowed to compete; custom models for stars from Madonna to Lionel Messi; collabs with the likes of Pharrell Williams, Raf Simons, Stella McCartney, Parley for the Oceans or Yohji Yamamoto; as well as the brand’s trailblazing techniques and materials, like its pioneering use of plastic waste that is intercepted from beaches and coastal communities.
Accompanied by a foreword by designer Jacques Chassaing and expert texts, each picture tells us the why and the how, but also conveys the driving force behind adidas. What we discover goes beyond mere design; in the end, these are just shoes, worn out by their users who have loved themâ€•but they are also first-hand witnesses of our sports, design, and culture history, from the beginnings of the Dassler brothers and the founding of adidas until today.
“This book tells you everything you ever wanted to know about Adidas sneakers.” â€• highsnobiety.com
“A mecca for sneakerheads.” â€• robbreport.com
“A must for lovers of the footwear brand.” â€• GQ.co.uk
“The smudges, the stains, the tears, the history and all 350 models feature in extremely high detail in this extraordinary tribute to this remarkable brand.” â€• forbes.com
About the Author
Christian Habermeier has been working as a photographer and designer since 1989. He studied communication design and taught photography and digital illustration from 2000 to 2006. He also pursues his own projects in Cuba, Kenya, Nepal, India, Switzerland, and Hong Kong. In 2000 he founded studio waldeck photographers, and in 2013 he achieved his long-held vision of a CO2-neutral studio.
Sebastian Jäger studied design at the Georg-Simon-Ohm University of Applied Sciences in Nuremberg, focusing on moving images and photography, where he met former lecturer Christian Habermeier in 2005. Their joint company studio waldeck photographers serves customers from industry and the cultural sector. Since 2011, they have been creating a visual record of the holdings of the historical adidas archive.