Now that the deluge of media coverage on this unprecedented move has slightly dampened, I wanted to share my humble opinion on the matter (whatever thats worth).
I’ll start by stating, and it goes without saying, that Marc Dolce, Mark Miner and Denis Dekovic are all extremely talented and super creative designers. Im really looking forward to seeing what product they come up with. However, if you think this was a purely design move, and that Adidas was lacking in its pool of design talent and needed these three to suddenly make an impact on the footwear industry, you’re sadly mistaken, because Adi has been killin’ it lately. Adidas already has incredible design talent (case & point: check out our list of the top 12 upcoming shoes for fall on SLAMXHYPE that is basically dominated by Adidas).
Think Apple products over…well anyone else’s in their market sector. What Adidas doesn’t have, is as much of a ‘cool factor’ as Nike, which is something they’ve managed to accrue through years of impeccable marketing and execution of their ideas and products. What these three will bring alongside their design talent is almost more valuable to Adidas; their high level of marketing and product execution experience (think Primeknit vs Flyknit), they also bring some of Nike’s ‘cool factor’ to Adidas through their previous association with the brand.
Think Apple over Samsung to a certain degree. If Johnny Ive were to suddenly design a phone for Samsung, I guarantee you it would sell more than any other previous samsung model, even if the actual design or functionality wasn’t anything better than what they had previously (though I’m sure it would be), because he brings all his previous Apple branding and all their marketing associated with him to Samsung. All those insane videos of Mark Miner sketching on walls, those dope interviews with Denis Dekovic about the Magista, Marc Dolce and…well anything he’s ever designed, are all carried over to Adidas with these guys.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the addition of Marc, Mark and Denis won’t effect Adidas’ design language, they absolutely will, most specifically in their sportswear category, but I think they may have an even greater impact on the companies structure, execution and marketing of its products.
Minuscule cracks in the previously indelible, cemented foundation of Nike may be appearing. This move is basically a big ‘f*ck you’ from Adidas to Nike. A company known to pay former higher-up employees simply to never work for any other brand other than Nike again is definitely not cool with this move. I don’t care what anyone says.
This also happens on the heels of Under Armour making a very legitimate claim to snag one of Nike’s premier athletes and also while announcing that their sales actually beat Adidas so far this year. This is David flexing on Goliath. This may be the start of brands sitting at the table and taking significant slices of Nike’s cake.
This is also, and most importantly, good for design.
Sit back and watch as these heavy weight rivalries spark some of the most innovative and beautifully designed footwear to be released in recent memory, #PowerMovesOnly.
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