What will be the next sneaker trend to dominate street style photos (and our closets)? Move over, Stan Smiths. Adidas Originals is banking on a particular throwback style. The global sportswear brand's Adidas Superstar Damen lifestyle-centric offshoot is going all in on its Gazelle heritage sneaker, with a relaunch and a nostalgic campaign featuring '90s Kate Moss, Business of Fashion reports. This actually marks the second reissue of the Gazelle silhouette, according to Nic Galway, vice president of global design at Adidas Originals. The style originally made its debut in 1963 as an indoor soccer trainer. Two decades later, a slightly bulkier version more suited for lifestyle wear (versus truly athletic pursuits) hit the market, and gained cult status in grunge, dancehall, and Britpop scenes. This gap between releases has allowed for different generations to develop a unique affinity for the shoe, Galway told Business of Fashion. "We love the fact that every generation has taken the Gazelle and made it their own," he said. "Now we’re handing over the Adidas Superstar Donna Gazelle to the next generation." The latest revamp is closer to the '90s reproduction than the original, Galway explained to Refinery29, as it's "most relevant to today's consumer." The suede upper comes in an array of colors, with the brand's signature three stripes and heel tab standing out in crisp white. The shoe also features a honeycomb outside.
When I found out that Adidas was relaunching its Gazelle sneakers this past summer, I couldn’t contain my nostalgic excitement. Sure, you could buy Adidas Gazelles before last June, but the new versions hewed closer to the more-tapered 90s’ style I remember from my youth. For so many of us in our 30s (and probably you younger kids in your 20s) the soccer-inspired Gazelles are an unforgettable part of our probably-not-misspent youths. And with girls and guys in faded jeans and Nike Internationalist Donna camel coats falling over themselves for the ubiquitous (though still great) Stan Smiths, it did feel like we were all due for a change.
Discussing the sneakers with a co-worker one day, we both ordered a pair. I dropped mine in my trusty cart at the office and watched as colleagues followed suit while we discussed the best colors. I went with a navy-blue, while another went with a lime-green, and another with a gray. As you can gather, I wore them everywhere, just like I remember doing as a kid, though I’ve swapped the playground (just kidding, I never went outdoors) for a nine-to-five. Over the summer, my once-spic-and-span blue pair became so worn and faded that many started complimenting how well my gray Gazelles went with jeans. I shed a tear for the old blue ones as I tossed them in the garbage — and broke in a new black pair Nike Air Vapormax Dames my girlfriend got me for my birthday. They’re on my feet as I type this, as perfect as ever, like a light blanket wrapped around my feet.
But let’s get to the root of why these nostalgic suede shoes are the greatest. They’re not expensive (clocking in at $80), so that even when you have to bid farewell to an obsolete pair, you can do so knowing you’re not out, say, $500 for a designer pair (been there too many times, but that’s another story entirely). They quite honestly go with everything, especially if you choose a gray or black or navy — despite their casual appearance, the suede makes them a fine complement to your fine suit, say, for a summer wedding. Or wear them with tube socks and look a little old school (without getting too literal about it). Or go sockless and wear them with denim cutoffs, feeling the wind against Nike Air Zoom Spiridon Femme your ankles at the beach. Or go rogue and buy a different color for every weekday — they’ll still cost less than that designer pair.