An interview with dasslersfinest
A profound savant of all things adidas Originals, Julian seems to talk with us with the same passion that first caught on to him when he was a boy. Also known as DasslersFinest on Instagram (be sure to check out and follow his priceless feed), Julian shares his views about values such as originality, community spirit, almost unknown adidas Originals models and more, much more.
Discover the road followed by DasslersFinest in the latest episode of our Sneaker Fans Worldwide feature.
Can you please introduce yourself?
I am originally from Liverpool, England. I have been living in the United States since the 1990’s. I have a family, I love to travel, watch football, listen to all kinds of music,
I have been playing the guitar for many years and been in the odd band. And like many people reading this I spend too much money on trainers.
When and why did the passion for all things adidas Originals come up?
The 1980’s were my formative years with adidas. Liverpool Football Team were very successful during this time period, especially in Europe. Older kids would come back from mainland European games with models that were unavailable in the UK.
These are the days before global distribution networks. Certain adidas models were only available in certain countries, and to have something unusual or unavailable locally put the shoes on a higher status level.
Once these models became more widely available, the workmanship, selection, colours, styles was never-ending. Diadora was reasonably popular due to Bjorn Borg, but they only had a few models that people wanted.
Puma was popular, and Nike was yet to gain a foothold in the UK. Nike was only 10 years old or so at this point, so there overall selection of models didn’t come close to adidas.
adidas Originals Liverpool (Only 100 pairs made)
Are there any vintage models that you would still like to see reissued?
This is a tricky question. Yes, there are, but a general disappointment in the quality of reissues has a side of me that grimaces at what they may look like. The quality/workmanship of reissues, for the most part, is a poor comparison to the original. The recent adidas Bern is a classic example. If you compare the original to the reissue you have to ask yourself…
What were they thinking! There are many details that were not even close. Many of the Trimm Trab models are synthetic, they are not suede like the originals. Is it that difficult to use suede or is this a cost decision?
Yes, this may sound “snobbish” for lack of a better word, but the facts are there for all to see. If you know your older models and do the comparison, you know what I am talking about.
Some reissues are very good, but they are in the minority overall. I have the recent adidas Superstar “made in France” model, and they are very good. It can be done, but it’s ultimately up to the money men at adidas.
Another thing to remember is the functionality of the shoe. Many of the “Originals reissues” may look like the original, but they won’t function from an athletic/engineering perspective. Most of the soles on the running shoes etc are coloured blocks, not actual different density materials that the originals had to improve the purpose of the shoe.
You now have to move to the adidas Performance channel for engineered/functional use. Models I would like to see reissued are as follows:
adidas Olympia S. I owned these in 1983. Similar to adidas Trimm Trab, but made of leather.
adidas Zelda. A very expensive at the time running shoe. Made of Kangaroo leather.
I would like to see some Gazelle reissues but based on the sleeker looking silhouettes from the 1970/80’s period.
adidas Japanese Munchen and a few other Japanese styles would be nice, as would adidas Saratoga and Riviera.
The list is endless, so I will end there…
Please share with us about one unforgettable story related to one of your sneakers…
I don’t have anything overly exciting here. Yes, I have found a few rarities in odd places or acquired cheaply. There is a shoe called adidas Denver. It’s a running shoe that I had around 1984.
I loved the shoe and was lucky to find a pair 20+ years later in my size. Having a shoe you owned as a kid makes them a little bit extra special. The Denver was actually used as the inspiration for the recent Quotoole ZX model.
It’s not a widely known model, and is probably low on the “want list” for most people, but there’s a sentimentality attached to this model, as are many others. It’s almost like a step back in time. Some models are like old songs, they have the ability to take you back.
What about three models of your choice…
I have always loved the Forest Hills 82 model. It’s another I owned as a kid. The reissue from 2004 is a nice version, the only main difference is the leather quality.
adidas Kegler. This shoe has it all really. Great shape, colour, and the addition of the peg system gives that extra touch. In the classic blue and white version, it’s just an absolute classic.
adidas Columbia. This is another I owned as a kid. Dark blue pigskin, silver stripes and the peg system. Just a great looking shoe.
There have been several silhouette reissues under different guises or colours, but the actual original has yet to be reissued. The recent Barbour/adidas collaboration released a model called the Columbia in a different colour.
Is there a silhouette that you’re still chasing and didn’t manage to get your hands on yet?
Not really. I am a bit calmer these days. They come, they go, and I have had many come and go. If there was one shoe I’d love in my collection it would be the adidas Palermo leisure shoe.
This is another I owned as a kid, they were my school shoes around 83/84. Tan leather with a small metal adidas logo. Some of the leisure shoes were great.
What is your opinion, and just how do you feel, about all this sneakers subculture?
I only know about adidas really. I know that the Nike culture is massive. Some of their models are valued so high it’s unbelievable.
You have your collectors, your wearers, your vintage fans, your reissue fans, or a general mix. There is a definite community spirit within the adidas followers culture. While there is enthusiasm, money, want, etc. involved, at the end of the day they are a pair of shoes.
So, celebrate them, enjoy them, but don’t get lost in them. I used to be lost, forever searching, buying, etc. Those days are gone. I get what I want, and that’s it. I enjoy them.
Finally, could there be such a thing as the perfect sneaker? Or are all brands still far or way beyond it?
This is a question that could have a million different answers. It all depends on what your style is, and who you ask.
What is the perfect meal? What is the perfect woman? What is the perfect job? I think most brands have probably hit the nail on the head for their customers somewhere down the line.
I am a fan of simplicity really. Not too many colours, and not full of geometric shapes or various fabrics on the shoe.
The Stan Smith is about as simple as it gets, yet remains one of the most purchased shoes ever, even after 40 years.
Check out dasslersfinest on Instagram.