adidas: The Story as Told by Those Who Have Lived and are Living It
Author: Keith Cooper
Publication Date: 2011/2012
In 2011/12, adidas released a monumental collection of photos, lineage, history, information and interviews (over 140 people were interviewed) with some of the most renowned athletes and bastions of sport in the history of the world, all bound together in a tidy 644 page behemoth to tell the story of adidas. In the words of then CEO Herbert Hainer, “It would be enthralling enough as a work of fiction – but as a true story, a genuine piece of modern sporting, social and industrial history, it holds a fascination that bears endless repeating.”
The interviewees include Franz Beckenbauer, Stan Smith, Ilie Nastase, Dick Fosbury, Steffi Graf, Edwin Moses, Sergio Garcia, Muhammad Ali, David Beckham, Ryan Howard, Yohji Yamamoto, Stella McCartney, Lionel Messi and so many more. There is also a section called Footprints, that displays some incredible examples of adidas shoes, boots and rarities from the last 70+ years, followed by a remarkably comprehensive timeline.
The material choices for the book play a large part in making it so grandiose. The nearly 650 pages are all printed on 150gsm Profisilk, a paper renowned for having a surface which is both silky smooth and capable of reproducing images and colors precisely and beautifully. The actual layout features multiple sections of ‘inset’, or differently sized pages for photos (keeping the reader engaged and focused), as well as three bound bookmarks (white, black and blue).
Sneakerature’s Take: If this book only had the photos, without a single word inked amongst them, it would still be more than enough to vault it into sacred territory. What makes this book the unquestioned benchmark for sneaker brand history books however, is its efforts in, and success at telling the story of adidas, sans adulteration. A downright proper homage to the legacy of adidas.
If you’d like to learn more about what it was like to undergo the herculean task of putting this book together, you can browse the 5 or 6 posts on the adidas blog, one of which includes commentary from the author himself Keith Cooper.