In the space of a prolific decade, Adidas laid the foundations for its global success and still lives on the rents of its trinity of the sixties: Stan Smith (1964), Gazelle (68) and Superstar (69). The middle model, which interests us today, goes everywhere. The pair is consensus with its design and its timeless status. It also represents a vestige of the fratricidal war between the Germans Adolf Dassler (Adidas) and Rudolf Dassler (Puma). Because the Gazelle, appreciated for its distinguished suede leather upper, responds to the Puma Suede launched a year earlier.
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Camille, 34, is a fervent admirer of the Gazelles: “They were born in 68, a landmark year in the women’s liberation movement.” Except that unlike others, she has never worn them. “In college, I had a lot of metal trip buddies who wore them. For me, it was a crazy fantasy ”, remembers the founder of Esque accessories, who works all types of shoes with scraps of leather from the leather goods industry to make stickers. Except that between the specials, the prices, the colors available… the young girl from Saint-Quentin en Yvelines can not get them to be offered by her parents. And when financial autonomy came, another constraint, professional this time, will make him abandon the model: “I made a career in the office and wearing sneakers was not too popular.”
It was at the age of 10 that she discovered the model, in her riding club. She keeps a very precise memory of it: “Navy blue with white stripes. I found them super-elegant. When we wore that, we could be feminine, up to date and athletic at the same time. “
Having become all-terrain over the decades, the sneaker made history by becoming the very first multisport shoe in history. The blue color (Gazelle blue) is reserved for the practice of indoor sports. The Red (Gazelle red) is intended for outdoor sport. This desire not to be confined to a particular sport allows the pump to easily change to more daily use. And there is this name, which evokes “A small and slender antelope, as fast as she is graceful”. Imagery on which the sports equipment manufacturer readily plays during advertising campaigns in the 1970s. Camille: “Just with the name, you have speed and power. Add the two, that gives freedom, of course. “
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The mid-1980s marked its transformation lifestyle (excluding sport). The colors are available. Each outfit has its own pair. Football club supporters are won over. Liverpool fans bid on historic red. Today’s model is a descendant of the 1991 reissue. Since then the Gazelle has had a few facelifts but little facelift. In the same decade, she made her entry into hip-hop, although the Puma Suede was more iconic, notably thanks to the Beastie Boys.
It is especially the amateurs of sports of slips which seize it massively. “For me it was a little more skater boots, points out Camille. I hung out a lot with skaters and the Gazelles and the Ethnic groups were well represented there. There is a resemblance between the “E” on three Ethnic stripes and the adidas stripes. “ Unclassifiable, the sneaker goes down in posterity with Oasis, Michael Jackson and especially by the British Jason Kay (leader of the group Jamiroquai). The muse wears them in her clips and during advertising campaigns. We think in particular of the aerial clip of the tube Virtual Insanity.
But Camille does not budge: “I think she’s a very feminine model. It is better worn by women than by men. “ An iconic cliché goes in his direction: the twig Kate Moss (19 years old at the time) in burgundy pumps, black pants and tank top and a choker necklace. Casual chic vintage look. The photo is signed Denzil McNeelance, in 1993. Since then, Moss has remained a sneaker ambassador and in 2016, for the return of the Gazelle, the three-stripe brand remixed the image to bring it up to date.
Last June, during the announcement of a partnership with Adidas, rapper Dinos released a bit of revenge on Instagram : “Ten years ago, I struggled to buy Gazelle and Superstar, there is my large photo at the Adidas des Champs. Did we break through? I don’t really know, but we’re better than before, that’s for sure. “ As the rising figure of text rap, the pair have come a long way.
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