Are you sick of Stan Smiths yet? Were you sick of them nine months ago? Sorry, fam. They aren't going anywhere. Hold up though. How the fuck did we get here in the first place? i-D traced the abridged history that turned the classic tennis shoe into the go-to fashion sneaker.
When Adidas first released the silhouette in 1963, it was named after Robert Haillet. After his retirement a few years later, Adidas pegged Stan Smith, then the top-ranked tennis player in the world, to replace him as the sneaker's ambassador. Smith wore the shoes on the court throughout his career, even though the first stint of it was still paired with the Haillet name. Adidas officially renamed the shoe in 1978.
But enough sports. Recently, the fashion push behind the Stan Smith has been absolutely fucking nuts, having since been riffed on by the roster of Adidas designers from Raf Simons to Yohji and become the blank canvas for other luxury brands to use as their foundation in the process. While the shoe remained relatively obscure, at least within fashion, throughout the mid-00s, the likes of Marc Jacobs and Phoebe Philo brought them back to the forefront by wearing them regularly as part of their personal uniforms.
Though Adidas took the shoe off the market for two years starting in 2012, its comeback in last year blew things up to the point that designer knockoffs were getting a little too close to home. Sure, you can complain about their ubiquity these days, but, let's be real, they're probably the least offensive popular shoe out there, from both an aesthetic and price standpoint. Shout out Robert Haillet. Long live the Stan Smith.