After more than 70 years of manufacturing soccer shoes and related clothing, Adidas is renewing its push to plaster its distinctive three-stripe signature all over the general public.

Two separate developments have spurred the move: One is the first-ever World Cup Soccer matches in the U.S., starting this June. As an official marketing partner, Adidas will supply the official ball, outfit the referees and design uniforms for 10 of the participating teams, including those of the U.S., Argentina and Germany.

The second is purely fashion-driven: to remind everyone that it was Adidas's stripes that all the designers (and their imitators) copied and profited from last season. To that end, Adidas recently put on parties at L.A.'s Club Renaissance and New York City's Limelight and invited enough hip-and-trendies to fill a soccer stadium.

In L.A., Robert De Niro, Sean Penn and Daphne Zuniga, among many others, watched models -- including MTV's Eric Neis, Baywatch's Nicole Egert and members of House of Pain -- work the runway in Adidas's fall collection. Along with traditional activewear such as bathing suits, tennis skirts and warm-up suits, the show included samples of the World Cup uniforms and sportswear looks such as long V-neck dresses and canvas "fireman" jackets with metal closures. But the loudest applause -- and lustiest cheers -- greeted Adidas's underwear line for men and women, which features triple-striped tank tops and matching cotton briefs.

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