By  on February 11, 2008

NEW YORK — Adidas unveiled a new store design here for its Adidas Originals boutique in Soho on Feb. 2. The refashioned store, located at 136 Wooster Street, also serves as the U.S. launchpad for the German sport brand’s new collaboration with Diesel for its first denim range. 

Adidas is branding the new store concept as Adidas Atelier, and the format offers a clean, contemporary look with an open, inviting floor plan. The interior decor utilizes workbench-inspired merchandise tables, shoe molds and footwear walls with windows into the back stockroom. 

Interactive technology is a key component of the store, including a new concept called Mi Originals Centers. At these computer workstations, which are designed to look like tattoo parlors, customers can design their own Adidas Superstar or ZX700 model shoes online and have them delivered at home three weeks later. A nearby library of information and images from Adidas’s past will help inspire these nascent designers. 

“We wanted to have an interactive platform to bring our message of originality to life,” said Hermann Deininger, chief marketing officer of the Adidas Sport Style division, which includes the company’s non-performance brands like the heritage-inspired Adidas Originals, the Y-3 collaboration with Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto and the Adidas by Stella McCartney range. 

The Mi Originals technology is only available in the renovated Adidas Originals stores now, but will be rolled out online later this year, greatly expanding its reach, according to Deininger. 

In another design flourish inside the shop, Adidas has covered one rear wall with framed, flat-panel LCD screens, which it is calling the Trefoil Wall. (The trefroil is the brand’s iconic triple-striped leaves logo.) Customers can snap a photo of themselves with a nearby mounted camera, and their image will remain in one of the frames for about 24 hours, creating an ever-changing collage of portraits. 

The redesigned New York Originals store is the second unit to be renovated, following the Berlin store, which reopened on Jan. 31. The new Atelier format will be rolled out to the brand’s other stores worldwide over the next two years. The company currently operates 83 Originals stores globally, including 12 in the U.S. It plans to open 50 to 100 new units in the next year, with a key focus on emerging markets like China and Brazil. 

Adidas Originals shops are the only outlet for the brand’s denim collaboration with Diesel. The two brands came together following the chance meeting of Diesel founder Renzo Rosso and Adidas executives at a soccer match between AC Milan and Bayern Munich. “Both companies share the same brand values, and our customers share the same lifestyle,” noted Deininger of the resulting partnership.

The four-year deal kicks off this spring with six jeans styles for men and four for women. Retail prices range from $160 to $210, with Diesel producing the jeans for Adidas, but with the latter closely involved in the design process. The co-branded jeans feature Adidas’s trefoil logo on the rear waistband in leather and a three-stripe selvedge detail. 

“This is the first time that Diesel has created a denim line with another lifestyle brand, and we wanted to do it with Adidas—a company that shares with us the same fresh attitude, and care for high quality and creativity,” noted Rosso. 

While Adidas Originals stores have the exclusive rights to distribute the line now, there is the possibility it will later be sold in Diesel stores or wholesaled to other retailers. 

Asked why a sport brand like Adidas wanted to enter the denim market, Deininger noted: “Denim is a very important part of youth culture. Now when customers walk into one of our stores, we can offer them a complete look—from a track top to jeans to a pair of sneakers.” 

In other Adidas news, the company opened the first Y-3 flagship in New York in collaboration with Yamamoto. The 2,100-square-foot space opened on Feb. 6 and is located at 317 West 13th Street in the trendy Meatpacking District. A second Y-3 store will bow in Soho in March.

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