Everything that is essential, nothing that is not. No other words stuck with me the way this slogan did. Maybe because it was written everywhere and quoted every minute at the EQT Launch at Berlin Fashion Week, but it still hit home. The entire adidas event was full of messages. Before opening up to the Questions & Answers session on the second day of the event , the short-film above was shown to us. It left sneakerheads, bloggers and well-known names in the sneaker scene ecstatic. Documenting the background, evolution and enduring legacy of the brand’s iconic Equipment series – short EQT-, the clip brims over with bold statements. Justifiably, since the EQT’s idea was born out of sole boldness, but succeeded nevertheless. When adidas Originals launched the line in the 90s, its philosophy echoed in street culture. The sneakers were far away from the aesthetics common in Western Europe. Far ahead of its time and far out from what you were used to from adidas, the EQT line hit the zeitgeist. It became a status symbol for a youth obsessed with progress. Its design language was simple, clean, essential. Out with poppig neon colors, in with three significant colors: green, white, black.
In 2017, mantra, core design and boldness remained. The color palette changed though. The famous ‘equipment green’ made way for the TURBO RED. “The best of Adidas in its newest form”, as adidas Originals claims in another pretty confident statement. The idea was to create a shoe for a new generation that could call this sneaker their own. The archives of adidas in Herzogenaurach have never been considered as a museum but rather as a toolbox. Thus, EQT designers worked with the past and reimagined the line for the future. It was time to move on from green, once again cutting through the culture. The “mathematical way” of selecting exactly the opposite color of the ‘Equipment Green’ in the color palette has been a pretty good anecdote, though the Q&A session disclosed the secret that this was not truly the real reason. The ‘Turbo Red’ fits the sneaker’s iconic design language. Clear shape, clear branding, one unifying scheme: the COLOR! Older aesthetics in combination with a brand new colorway created a new hybrid shoe that would fit in 80/90s catalogues but were state-of-the-art. Introducing the EQT Support 93/17 truly marks the birth of a brand new chapter for the iconic EQT series – and KICKZ was part of it!
THE PLACE TO BE – BERLIN FASHION WEEK
Twice a year, Berlin turns into a fashion mecca and serves as a stage for fashionistas, influencer and brands. The crème de la crème of the scene rushes from one show to the other, always searching for the hottest brands, the trendiest clothes and the coolest parties. From fancy designer shows to super dope sneaker events, the Berlin Fashion Week has always been as versatile as the city itself. adidas Originals invited KICKZ to celebrate the launch of its 1990s design icon with them. Our answer was pretty simple and short: YEEES! It was the perfect opportunity for us to network with big shots of the brand, bloggers and sneakerheads like us. It has been a blast! Pulling out all stops, adidas delivered a timetable full of highlights.
Returning to its birth place Berlin, adidas chose the perfect locations for debuting the EQT line. After we were caught off guard with our very own EQT sneakers waiting for us as a present on our hotel room, the EQT Exhibition offered even bigger surprises. 30 years of Equipment history were displayed in the unique exhibition, created in conjunction with EQT icon Marc Leuschner, owner of Overkill. The collection of original and exclusive EQT shoes made our sneakerhead’s hearts beat faster. Every shoe EQT fans could wish for were solely centimeters away from their hands. adidas EQT Support x Solebox, adidas ZX 5000 ‘UNDFTD x BAPE’, adidas ZX 8000 x Jaques Chasing & Markus Thaler, Overkill x adidas Consortium EQT Racing 93 ‘Taxi’, damn… the exhibition was full of rarities. Since most of the invited guests were wearing Boost, Boost and Boost, the displayed EQT sneakers were a welcomed change. Yeezys, NMDs and Ultra Boosts made Original sneakers like Gazelle, Superstars & Co. look quite exotic in these surroundings.
HOT SPOT OF THE EVENT
The EQT Loft was the place-to-be for our three days in Berlin. It had been the core of the adidas’ Launch Event – with good reason! On two floors, adidas provided food and drinks and food and drinks and,… apart from (vegan) delicacies, the showroom presented a first glance at 16 new shoe models. It was actually pretty hard to tell which sneaker had won our heart since every silhouette was damn nice. Design installations, a photo cube and Tetris stations – yes, you heard it right, you had the chance to play the famous video game there – made the loft a superb location.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
After an euphoric welcoming speech the previous night, it was finally time for some bold words again. The Q&A session had quite some star potential, featuring Torben Schumacher, Vice President Product Management for adidas Originals, Style & Y-3, Gary Aspden, Creative Consultant, and Marc Leuschner, CEO Overkill. While my hand was already aching from jotting down every key phrase the three were dropping – and there were quite a lot of them since all of them had a way with words – bloggers were taking pictures, posting pictures, going online with Instastory, Snapchat & Co. Quite a sensory overload for ordinary people like us! The sneakerheads went on about the beginnings of the EQT line, growing up in Great Britain as well as in Western or Eastern Germany in the 80s. The talk turned on one pretty obvious topic – the color. Heated conversations up to provoking arguments seemed to have taken place in the adidas headquarters beforehand. Choosing the ‘Turbo Red’ was a bold step, but the decision payed off. Oldschool DNA, new materials, new elements, new colorway and storytelling helped create the look for the future. Quoting Gary Aspden, the belief in adidas has now been manifesting outside of the company in the sneaker scene – the market is ready for the new EQT!
After food and drinks and food and drinks, it was finally time for us to be creative. Divided in different walking groups, the marketing staff of different sneaker retailers, blogger and photographer painted the town red. Kreuzberg, Neukölln, Mitte – every group followed its individual route to impressive photo spots. Equipped (watch out, pun intended!) with different new EQT silhouettes, we made our way to colorful basketball courts, rooftops and famous sights in Berlin. Mixing different guests in various groups was quite a thrill for us since a lot of very influential and well-known blogger joined us on our walk – #fangirl! Nonetheless, I have to say… the blogger life is quite a hard knock life. Always online, always up-to-date – quite a demanding lifestyle! The KICKZ crew has been found and featured on several posts and insta stories of these fashionistas, finally getting their five seconds of fame.
17.01.2017, 12 AM, Main Act!
adidas and music artist? There have been quite some collaborations with performers the recent years that could be considered, but there is only one face connected to the EQT line: KING PUSH! Pusha T not only came to fame due to his sick rap skills but made a name as part of the adidas design team. The KING PUSH EQT has already been debuted for two times while the third model’s European Launch is on January 28th. The American rapper did the honors and performed as the special guest on stage. In front of an audience of approximately 1,200 invited guests at the Vollgutlager venue in Berlin Neukölln, did he treat the crowd with his dopest tracks. Alongside models, musicians and bloggers did we celebrate the comeback of the design icon. The short clip “ORIGINAL is never finished”, previously played to Pusha T’s performance on stage, ultimately hit the bull’s eye! Featuring visionaries from the worlds of sport, music, art and skate, the film turns to the new generation of creators to inspire them to redefine their meaning of originality. Snoop Dog, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and other stars jam to the iconic song, “My Way” by Frank Sinatra with a provocative approach to today’s streetwear culture. This ad will give you shivers, for sure!
Chapeau, adidas! The entire event was fully EQUIPPED – from end to end.
A design evolution
PRODUCT: EQT Support 93/17
EQT signature webbing tape stripes
Sculpted BOOST midsole with signature 3 stripes
EQT SUPPORT signature turbo red TPU support piece
TPU support piece
Structured circular knit mesh
Pixel knit upper
(Photo credits: KICKZ.com/ adidas Originals)