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The Rise Of The Fashion Sneaker

How adidas Originals is helping take sneakers from the hard court to the runway
by Miguel Escobar | Apr 4, 2016
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It isn't difficult to see all the leaps and bounds that adidas has been making recently. The three stripes lead the crisp white sneaker trend that blew up in 2014 with the Stan Smith, sustaining it well into 2015 with the resurgence of their iconic Superstar. Then of course there's the Yeezy factor—Kanye West's signature shoes with adidas Originals that continue to inspire ungodly levels of hype. In fact, adidas' efforts have made it the most liked sneaker brand on Instagram in 2015. These days, that definitely means you're getting something right

And if there's anything that adidas is doing right, it's their aggressive takeover of the fashion world. A few years back, it would have been unthinkable for a sportswear brand to open New York Fashion Week. But that's precisely what adidas did when they launched Yeezy Season 2. They've also done extensive collaborations with designers like Stella McCartney, Yohji Yamamoto, and Jeremy Scott—but those were around long before the general public started to take notice of adidas' rise to the runway. Thanks to the German athletic brand, sneakers are finally and fully part of the fashion world.

Leading adidas' current charge into the forefront of fashion are the Tubular and the NMD. No doubt you've heard of them and seen them on your social media feeds or on people's feet.

The adidas Originals Tubular, which launched its first variant in November of 2014, is a highly futuristic, fashion-forward shoe which sneakerheads took to be the poor man's Y-3 Qasa, a popular adidas fashion sneaker in itself. adidas has since released several colorways and versions of the Tubular, and even more are coming out this year.

The Tubular Doom is perhaps the most popular among these new variants. Its distinct tall collar is but proof of our previous claim: sock-like shoes are the future. This particular colorway is part of their Luxe Textile Pack, which pairs athletic fabrics like neoprene and perforated mesh with more fashion-forward design cues, like premium leather and reflective snakeskin.

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The Tubular Nova is the Doom's low-top counterpart. If you're digging the ridged sole and the dope snakeskin texture but aren't too fond of the collar, the Nova is a good option. Plus, they look a little similar too (or better than?) the Moonrock Yeezy Boost 350s, so they're definitely a pair for stunting

The Tubular Defiant is where things get really stylish. This Tubular is a mid-top with a cleaner sole and an upper made from 22oz canvas. But these colorways are little extra fashion-forward and trend-conscious thanks to the stark diagonal cut of color contrast. Oh, and if they look familiar, it's because you've seen them on Margo Midwinter when she made her debut on last month's cover.

But the Tubular isn't the trefoil's only foray into fashion. Both sneakerheads and the fashion set have been fixated on the adidas Originals NMD (which isn't an acronym and doesn't have any specific meaning, as per NMD designer Nic Galway)—a shoe that looks every bit as ready for a run as it does for the runway. Top-tier boutiques recently released several colors of the NMDs, only to have them sell out instantly and up on the resale market for ridiculous prices. Two new women's colorways are up and about, though: The NMD_R1 "Details Pack" touts a simple black colorway and a burgundy-beige colorway in premium suede and peached jersey, which both have men wishing we had smaller feet.

What you're looking at is the future of footwear as we know it. A little less than a decade ago, sneakerheads and the fashion set were completely at odds. Now, we are one and the same.


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