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Stan Smiths

Paparazzi have swarmed Kanye West while he’s been wearing a pair of these sneakers, the same shoe has been worn by supermodel Gisele Bündchen on the cover of Vogue Paris and you probably have a pair on your shoe rack. What shoes are these exactly? The iconic Stan Smiths sneakers.

In their original form, white with kelly-green tongue logo and heel detail, the shoes are universal. The shoes have proven to be incredibly versatile, with people being seen effortlessly transitioning from wearing them in the office with a suit to date night.

Back in the early 70s Adidas was after a new poster boy for their white tennis shoe they had in their collection. They decided on Stanley Roger Smith, who was then the world’s No. 1 tennis player, and so the Stan Smith shoe was born.

So how did it become an icon? In 2012, the company pulled Stan Smiths from the market. It was an incredible risk but they were hoping the move would increase demand for the shoe, hoping that absence would make the heart grow fonder. Once supplies became limited the general public’s desire for the shoe grew exponentially.

Just when people had given up hope on the shoe ever making a comeback, Adidas re-released Stan Smiths in a 2014 promotional blitz that took over the industry. So, did it work? Yes it did, potentially more than they ever thought it would. The stunt’s success was labelled as “one of the greatest comebacks in marketing history”.

I guess you are either a Nike person or an Adidas person – with around 30 pairs of Stan Smiths, I am definitely in the latter’s camp.