Tuesday 13th April

| BY Brittany Newman

Sam Nowell And Paolino Russo Partner Up For The New adidas Originals x Depop Project

Adidas Originals are back with another collaboration that you didn’t know you needed – but after reading this now you do. This time they have paired with the app behind all your favourite holy grails, Depop and provided 40 in-app creatives with a classic pair of Stan Smiths to doodle all over as they please. But don’t worry your little cotton socks, the experimental canvas has had a 21st Century revamp – the Stan Smith’s prime green upper is now made out of recycled materials in the commitment to end plastic waste.

And that isn’t all. To celebrate this partnership, three special Depop designers have been paired up with partners from the Adidas family to combat the reworking and restyling of secondhand, classic adidas clothing. In team one Sarah Robinson (@sarah_o_robinson) paired up with champion British 400m athlete Laviai Nielsen, in team two Soph Tresadern (@stresadern) had the task of linking up with the members of Easy Life to create a five piece range inspired by the brand’s unique style. Then finally in team three we were blessed with a fashion upcycling heavenly pairing of Sam Nowell (@samnowellstudios) and Paolina Russo. We caught up with Depop’s biggest star Sam Nowell to find out more.

Why did you want to take part in the project?

To have the opportunity to be part of the new Stan Smith release was something really special to me. I grew up around tennis through my grandparents & if you went to their house when Wimbledon was on it was never off the TV. The Stan Smith shoe for that reason and countless others has been a shoe that I’ve always had a fondness towards.

What legacy does the Stan Smith hold in contemporary society?

The Stan Smith has been able to change with the times and different eras in style, as well as appealing to such a wide variety of subcultures. Its legacy in popular fashion speaks for itself and Stan Smith himself said it best when he said “Some people think I’m a shoe”. It has had its place in the everyday because of its timeless silhouette and means you can look at a picture from the 1980s where someone is wearing them and they look just as good as they do now.

When did you first get your own pair of Stan Smiths?

I must have been around 13 or 14. It was my first introduction to Adidas shoes that wasn’t a pair of football boots. I beat them up as everyone does at that age, definitely on the park. Pretty sure I still have them – I’m a sentimental sod. 

What about the shoe still makes it relevant today?

The Stan Smith has always had its place in popular culture because of how versatile it can be. It’s a blank canvas for the person wearing it to really play around with. The shoe changes depending on how you style it and for that reason I think it’s always appealed to so many different groups and subcultures. It can be paired with a summer dress or worn as you put your foot through a muddy football in the park, there’s only a handful of shoes that can do that. 

Can you talk us through the piece you created to celebrate the new PRIMEGREEN Stan Smith?

Together with Paolina Russo, we worked with vintage Adidas pieces to create a new item of clothing. The track jacket has always been a piece of clothing that has interested me – built for purpose and truly functional in its construction and material choices, we wanted to flip this on its head and work on a jacket that had a more feminine structure. I’ve been obsessed for a while with Edwardian and Victorian shapes and elements and so that’s what inspired the frills on the shoulder and this idea of clothing to be worn to exaggerate your position. We used two pairs of tracksuit bottoms and a jacket, using the jacket’s loud print as the main body of the jacket and the tracksuit bottoms with the trademark stripes as panelling to tie these together. The resulting jacket is one that I hope pays respect to Paolina’s previous work with Adidas whilst also drawing on my interest in English heritage wear and an ongoing question over the functionality of garments. 

What role do you think Depop plays in promoting upcycling and circularity to the masses?

Depop has always been hugely instrumental in normalising and pushing a new culture of upcycling and DIY, especially in recent times. People spent the better part of last year looking at their wardrobes & wanting that freshness and the way they got it was by being creative with their clothes, whether it making them into bags and bucket hats or painting denim, Depop facilitated peoples desire to have creative expression and to show this.  It gives young creative people the opportunity to showcase work made in their bedroom, photograph it and post it all themselves – you can be everything – at the risk of sounding like a motivational advert.

100% of sales from the customised Stan Smith’s are donated to a charitable cause chosen by each seller, as sold via their Depop shops.