All adidas Stan Smith from Sweden
Before the adidas Stan Smith made in China there was a whole different scene. It was in 1990 that Tommy brought his first pair of the adidas Originals Stan Smith.
Three years later, and almost without him even knowing, the passion for this classic three stripes model was singularly established. A teacher and researcher in physics in Sweden, Tommy is an avid Stan Smith collector and a devoted sneaker fan.
From the original models fabricated in countries like Spain, Portugal, Czechoslovakia or Morocco, to the special and recent collaborations with Raf Simons or Pharrell, Tommy has it all.
In our most recent take of Sneaker Fans Worldwide we talked with Tommy about his passion for the Stan Smith silhouette, the frenetic rhythm of version releases this year and more.
Can you please state your name and occupation?
My name is Tommy, I am 41 years old, and I am a teacher and a researcher in physics. I am from Stockholm, Sweden. My Instagram profile is @Fysikern, which means ‘the physicist’ in Swedish.
In addition, I am a sneaker fan and collector. My all-time-favourite sneaker is the adidas stan smith, which I started collecting in 1993 when I was 20 years old. I usually spell stan smith with small s’s, since it is, in this case, the name of the sneaker in the first place, and not the person, Stan Smith, that they were named after.
In total, I believe that my collection of sneakers consists of around 300 pairs, I have not counted recently, and I have them in different places. I would like to know, but it is too much a hassle to count them. I keep a rather good track of my stan smiths though.
When did this small (?) obsession begin?
I saw the adidas stan smith for the first time in the middle of the 1980 – around 1985 it must have been. It was this cool guy in my class that got himself a pair of adidas stan smith, and in addition, my teacher, who was a woman, had a well-worn pair.
Already at that time, these two were speaking of the glory of the adidas stan smith. I, myself, bought my first sneakers in 1998 – a pair of Nike Tennis Classic, since I actually thought that they were softer.
This sneaker was my favorite sneaker for a long time. I bought my first pair of adidas stan smith in 1990, but I never used them. Then, in 1993 for my 20th birthday, I got my first”real” pair of adidas stan smith from my parents, and it was at that time my interest for them got really big. After that, I have basically been wearing them.
Before and around 1993, the adidas stan smith was extremely popular in Sweden, and nearly every guy that I know wore either adidas stan smith or Nike Tennis Classic, those were the days in Sweden.
After that, sneakers exploded the market, and there were also many other sneakers. However, I would say that both these sneakers (and nowadays mostly adidas stan smith) have stayed very popular in Sweden.
In fact, I do not really think there is a day when I do not see a guy here in Stockholm wearing the adidas stan smith, except for myself that is.
As stated above, the adidas Stan Smith has been very popular in Sweden, and still is, so there are also several other collectors and users of stan smiths that I know in Sweden. In fact, I have met with two other guys, who have at least more than 10 pairs of this fantastic sneaker.
Both of them also live in Stockholm or in the suburbs
What does a pair of Stan Smiths mean for you? Is it a connection that is somehow emotional and goes way beyond the satisfaction of getting into your sneakers of choice?
A pair of stan smith means a lot to me – some feelings that are hard to describe, but I do think that the adidas stan smith is beautiful: it is so classic, clean, and simple. In addition, it is so unique and special, and of course, I have an emotional passion for them – I am a stan smith addict and a freak.
It is a masterpiece from adidas! As I usually say, everybody should get acquainted with them and have at least one pair in the wardrobe.
Normally, there is not a day when I do not wear stan smiths today, and usually, I wear other adidas Original clothes together with my stan smiths.
What are the coolest Stan Smith versions that you currently own?
The most cool stan smith versions that I own (in fact, I have never got rid of any pair of sneakers) are my pairs of adidas stan smith white/green ”made in France” with the classic tongue logo of Stan Smith without moustache, but I also have pairs made in other original places like Morocco, Czechoslovakia, CSFR, Spain, and Portugal.
To have a pair of adidas stan smith “made in France” is a must for a true collector, at least if you ask me. My oldest pair of adidas stan smith is from 1977, which has the old tongue logo with a different portrait of Stan Smith.
Please see the Wikipedia page: Adidas Stan Smith, which I have been editing for some time, for more information on the adidas stan smith.
Now, in 2014, the adidas stan smith are made in China and India, but I like the versions better now than when they were made in Vietnam (2001–2002) and Indonesia (2007), except from the adidas stan smith 80s that were made in Indonesia (2008–2010). The versions from China around 1997, I also did not like too much.
As for the versions made in 2014, I must admit that I like the classic adidas stan smith US version in white/green (M20324) the most. I think this US version is better than the “rest of the world” version (D67361), since it has a leather upper which is whiter; the heel part is made of synthetic leather with a clear green color and not suede.
The only thing that is better with the “rest of the world” version is that it has a thinner tongue. Of course, both these models resemble the original classic adidas stan smith better than the so-called adidas stan smith II that existed in the 1990s and the 2000s, which had a very thick tongue without the portrait of Stan Smith and the words “stan smiths” were not written below the adidas trefoil logo on the heel part. Both these things are essential for making a “true” adidas stan smith if you ask me.
To summarize, a true pair of adidas stan smith should have white outer soles, white leather uppers of smooth and soft leather with three rows of perforations on both sides of each shoe, white laces, thin tongues with the classic tongue logo with Stan Smith without a moustache, and heel parts of synthetic leather in a clear green color with the adidas trefoil logo and the words “stan smith” under that logo.
That’s your adidas stan smith!
Concerning the new 2014 releases and collabs, I like the following five ones the best: adidas Consortium stan smith “Cracked” (M22239), adidas Consortium stan smith x Mastermind (M22697), adidas stan smith x Bedwin x The Heartbreakers (D65674), adidas stan smith x Raf Simons Orange (B35497), adidas Consortium stan smith x Pharrell Williams Blue (B25386). A mid-version for the winter is the adidas stan smith mid x 84-LAB (M25778), which is awesome too.
How has it been this year – with the overwhelming rhythm of releases and collabs?
This year has been crazy – at least for a stan smith addict like me. I do not even know how many releases and collabs that there have been, but I should be able to count them. At the start of 2014, my collection of adidas stan smiths consisted of around 60 pairs, but with this overwhelming rhythm of releases and collabs, I now have over 100 pairs – I think I should have around 125 pairs, so my collection has been more than doubled in a year!
Still, I am missing a classic adidas stan smith with my portrait on the tongue – that is my highest wish concerning stan smiths now. The closest that I have come is to design my own miadidas stan smith on adidas website.
It became a model with everything looking like the classic adidas stan smith in white/green except from that I changed the leather from soft leather to tumbled leather and the heel part from green/white to gold/green. In addition, it is printed”STAN SMITH FYSIKERN” on the inner soles – I find this model pretty dope!
Would you ever consider something like a redesign of the model? Or do you think all retros should always and foremost fully respect the original?
Well, I would consider all versions of the adidas stan smith which are not the adidas stan smith ”made in France” in white/green, which is my definition of the adidas stan smith, to be redesigns of the classic OG model. So I believe that the adidas stan smith should be as close as it can get to this OG model.
However, I realize (for market purposes) and think it is quite interesting with all the different versions too. The best will always be the ones that respect the original. So, of course, I would consider something like a redesign of the model, since all the different releases and collabs that I have bought myself during this year are not the classic OG adidas stan smith.
In fact, I would very much like to design an own version of the model.
Any other preferred models that you might have and currently own?
Indeed, I have other sneakers in my collection too. In total, I should have around 300 pairs of sneakers, mostly adidas and Nike, but also some Reebok, Puma, Converse, etc.
In fact, I have some other shoes also – not only sneakers. Other preferred models are: Nike Tennis Classic white/blue, Reebok Newport Classic, adidas Superstar, adidas Top Ten, adidas Spezial, adidas Campus, adidas Gazelle, adidas Busenitz, and adidas Hamburg to mention a few. As you understand, I like adidas a lot!
Finally, what were the latest 3 Stan Smith versions that you bought?
The latest three pairs of stan smith that I have bought are adidas stan smith white/red “US version” (M20326), adidas Consortium stan smith x Pharell Williams “Tennis pack” green (B25388), and the adidas stan smith x Stan Smith ”American Dad” (B24440).