Stan Smith has signed a lifelong deal with Adidas Originals.
The tennis legend originally partnered with the brand in 1973 to promote a white leather tennis shoe with a green heel tab and perforated three stripes. The shoe was originally backed by French tennis player Robert Haillet in 1965, but after he retired Adidas signed a five-year deal with Smith whose agent negotiated to have an illustration of his face on the tab.
Throughout the years, the shoe became prominent in pop culture and up until 2005 Smith received a flat fee each year from Adidas before his agent negotiated royalties on each sneaker sold. By 2011, the silhouette gained favor in the fashion world when Phoebe Philo, the former creative director at Celine, wore the sneakers on the runway. In an attempt to reposition the sneaker, which was still mostly sold at athletic stores, Adidas stopped production on the shoe in 2012 and 2013 and rereleased it to the market in 2014. Now, the shoe comes in several iterations and it has become one of the brand’s best-selling sneakers.
According to Torben Schumacher, general manager of Adidas Originals and Style, this lifetime partnership, which follows the release of Smith’s Rizzoli book titled, “Stan Smith: Some People Think I’m a Shoe!” marks the company’s commitment to the sneaker.
“The Stan Smith is one of our most iconic and recognizable classic white leather sneaker styles,” said Schumacher. “Its timeless design has transcended generations. The sneaker has been an integral part of the Originals history and will continue to have a lasting impact in the years to come.”
Nike signed a lifetime deal with LeBron James and Grant Hill recently inked a lifetime deal with Fila. The Stan Smith and Adidas partnership will be celebrated with the release of a sneaker named #StanSmithForever that honors the shoe’s original design. It will be available to purchase on Dec. 8.