The original Superstar silhouette was born as a response to new levels of athleticism that were revolutionizing the game of basketball. Prior to the shoe’s release, adidas design teams in both Germany and France had been exploring ways in which to deploy the rubber toe cap as a protective detail. With the addition of the distinct ribs that have become synonymous with the Superstar as we know it today, adidas France introduced the shell toe and revolutionized the footwear industry.
Transcending on-court performance, the Superstar has never ceased to push street culture forward. Once worn by legendary NBA players of the 70s and 80s, the silhouette was adopted by the boundary challenging New York crews at the heart of the hip-hop revolution. A permanent staple on the feet of Run DMC, the iconic rap group wore the Superstar lace less with the tongue protruding, and in an instant the silhouette became synonymous youthful energy and rebellious spirit. As potent an emblem on the stage as it is gliding over urban concrete, the sneaker has since become a staple in the skate world, worn for its durable makeup and unmatched wearability worn around the world. Democratic by nature – a shoe that has never belonged to one collective exclusively – the Superstar has been at the heart of a number of countercultural movements over several decades, making it the symbol it remains today.
For half a century, athletes, artists, creatives, and collectives of all kinds have made the Superstar their own, recreating and styling it in order to add new meaning to the silhouette’s iconic legacy each time. Whether done up in Bape camo, expressed in all the colours of the rainbow by Pharrell, or reimagined by Slam Jam, Bad Boy Records, and beyond, the Superstar has always served as a canvas of common ground for creative collectives worldwide.
From the court to the street, the Superstar has been passed down through decades as the uniform of industry changemakers, forever recognized as a sneaker at the forefront of culture. And now, it returns to Shelflife in its OG form, as well as the equally iconic Supestar Tracksuit with Gold Three Stripes. Available now at Shelflife CPT, JHB and online.