WORDS BY MIA RILEY
Stan The Man
Arguably, Stan Smith trainers are one of the most popular sneaker around, in fact I.D Magazine labelled it ‘The Ultimate Fashion Shoe’ back in 2015. Worn as the outfit for the effortlessly cool people, who have ‘I was too busy to think about what to wear today’ look.
In 2014 with the rise of the normcore trend and the relaunch of the shoe, where Adidas sent personalised Stan’s to celebrities, where drawings of the celebrity faces replaced Stan Smith’s, the sneaker was named Shoe Of The Year by Footwear News. So how is Stan Smith so relevant when he retired in 1985 and who is the man behind this so beloved shoe?
Stan Smith is a former American number 1 tennis player. Born in 1946 he shot to fame during the early 70s, even winning Wimbledon in 1972. Smith was also made famous by creating one of the most famous double teams with his partner Bob Lutz.
The shoe itself was born in 1963, but it was never originally called Stan Smith, the original name was Halliet after the French tennis player Robert Halliet. Adidas asked Smith to endorse the ‘Halliet’ shoe in 1971, (this was before the shoe looked like the classic white and green sneaker we know and love.) It was in the late 1970s that the shoe was officially renamed Stan Smith and his famous caricature logo was put on the tongue with the mint green detail.
Since the 1980s the shoe has been the uniform of many fashion creatives, such as Marc Jacobs in 2004 sporting them on the runway. The various collaborations that many fight hard to get a hold of and will pay crazy money for has made the Shoe become the leader of the sneaker pack, with many companies doing fakes or incredibly similar trainers, sorry homages too.
I personally, like many, own more than one pair, there is something about the round, crisp, white shape of the sneaker that is incredibly satisfying to look at, and I am sure that the actual style of this classic shoe has a big part to play in it’s long history of remaining a current wardrobe must-have.
Although now ‘not recommended’ for tennis players, the shoe is worn by millions despite it being 53 years old and many of the wearers unaware of the tennis pro legend that is Stan Smith.