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adidas EQT 1 on 1 | @thejameschan

adidas EQT 1 on 1 | @thejameschan

Article by: Mickey

Wed, Aug 11.21

adidas EQT 1 on 1 | @thejameschan

With the launch of the limited collection 'Football EQT' pack, there's a lot of buzz around EQT at the moment and we thought it was fitting to catch up with one of the biggest collectors in Australia and someone that knows the sneaker scene more than most - James Chan.

James is a former Three Stripes man who now works at Reebok as the Global Senior Marketing Manager (Collaborations). When we say James has an incredible collection we aren't messing around - heading round to his place and digging through some epic gear straight from the 90s to theme our site for this launch was a cool experience. We couldn't pass up the opportunity to get some insights from him around the history of EQT, its authenticity and his collection.

For football fans that might not fully grasp EQT in Sneakerhead detail, can you describe it in terms of design and product?

Sure, no problem! 

EQT stands for “Equipment” is considered one of the most storied and celebrated franchises from the adidas brand.

Birthed in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, the brand’s objective was to design a shoe 
solely to meet the athletes’ needs as a piece of equipment by offering only the essentials of performance, protection, and comfort, while stripping away everything that’s not necessary. With adidas EQT, everything was reduced to the essentials and focused solely on performance.

The product was complimented with the campaign tagline “The best of adidas”, as it was the brand’s mission to showcase the very best assortment of product and design at the time. It was also the first time they introduced the adidas “Performance Three Bars” symbol, which is still used to this day. In my opinion, the most iconic element of the EQT campaign was its Sub Green/White/Black colorway, a stark contrast to anything that was in the market at the time. The bold and iconic shade of green was one that would never go out of style and will always be reminiscent of that era.

With the combination of product design, brand philosophy and storytelling, the adidas EQT line unintentionally found itself as part of culture. Almost overnight, the product line went from coveted to collected - and the rest is history!

adidas EQT History

Being one of the biggest collectors in the sneaker scene can you take us back to the early 90’s when EQT came through and explain the initial reaction to the concept when it arrived? Did it hit the mark from the get go? What was the vibe like globally and also locally down here in Australia?

The late ‘80s was an interesting time for footwear brands. While most brands were trending forward and finding their feet on their next creative endeavors, adidas was falling behind.

In 1991, the brand reset turning to its history and decided to strip away everything that was unnecessary; to provide “Everything that is essential. Nothing that is not.” which later became the tagline for the adidas EQT Adv collection in 2017.

adidas Equipment was an idea born out of boldness; ignoring all rules, market research and trends. The campaign was truthful, honest, and transparent, which is why it connected to consumers so well - Authenticity.

It was a breath of fresh air for the brand at the time and definitely hit the mark from the get-go.

Unfortunately, it was almost too forward-thinking for some local markets and the product was not readily available here in Australia at the time; therefore not picking up steam here locally compared to the likes of Nike Air or Air Jordan etc.

adidas EQT History

There’s been a few colours since the original Equipment Green such as Turbo Red - were you a fan of some of the more recent colours or stayed true to the original?

The additional colour of Turbo Red and Blue were introduced to the adidas Equipment line a few years later, I’d say from ’93 onwards on the footwear, apparel and accessories. While I did enjoy the later colours, I always had a striking connection to the original Sub Green colorway. It is very nostalgic and iconic – nothing quite like it, still to this day!

How important and influential do you think EQT has been in the sneaker world?

The adidas EQT line has been incredibly influential in both sports and fashion culture.

In fact, this year marks the 30th anniversary of the adidas EQT Equipment line.
To celebrate, this year we are continuously seeing new product released from both the sports and fashion world.

In sports, we are seeing it with the release of the new adidas Football EQT pack. Conversely, in the fashion world we have seen a tease from @overkill_marc of potentially a bring back of the original silhouettes to celebrate the momentous milestone – excited to see what this year holds!

The adidas EQT Equipment line went from coveted to collected almost overnight in the ‘90s and is still brought up in conversations and sneaker folklore to this day!

adidas EQT History

From your entire EQT collection, which is your favourite? What do you think about the new Football EQT pack?

I would need to don my purist collector hat on and say the original adidas 1991 Running Support. I remember being 15 years old and spending hours on the Internet going through the image hosting website Flickr, looking at photos of people in Germany and Berlin showcasing their unworn pairs of the 1991 Running Support in box and still with tags. I would save all the images I could find and look at them obsessively on my phone multiple times a day – hoping to one day own them in Australia. I was so obsessed and fixated on this one shoe that I made it a life’s mission of mine to collect every single release and remake of the 1991 Running Support extending all the way back to the original 1991 pair. After years searching and copious amounts of money spent, I collected every release of the 1991 Running Support about three years ago – mission accomplished!

That said, the new adidas Football EQT pack is sick. I love how there are small nuances paying tribute to the original series. While the innovation is crazy, it still authentically ties in with the adidas Equipment philosophy. It is a definitely a tick of approval in my books!

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