MEGA Styles: A Conversation with Noah Bernard of adidas Originals Footwear

By - September 1st, 2010

MEGA Styles: A Conversation with Noah Bernard of adidas Originals Footwear

If you’ve scrolled through your favorite online magazines or watched a show about juiced-up and tan 20-somethings on MTV recently, chances are that you’ve come across the advertising for adidas MEGA products. The advertisements feature B.O.B. as a short order cook in a 50s-styled diner who takes orders from an attractive, retro-bespectacled waitress and then serves up adidas MEGA sneakers straight out of a metal cooler. Amidst a jukebox and rotating pie display, the customers are the only thing about the commercial who seem to be current—a young man clad in flannels and two women who may have just returned from a club sit in the booths. The diner is a bit of a microcosm of the adidas MEGA project itself, as it represents something new housed in a classic setting.

The inspiration behind the newly-launched project is to re-introduce some classic adidas models to a fashion-forward audience. The ZX 8000 that was released in 1989 was not meant to appeal to a fashionable audience per se; instead, it was designed to make track team athletes shave a few seconds off their times. But these models, like the Torsion RVI that uses the ZX 8000 as its inspiration, have the casual wearer in mind, though they retain the technical advancements like the Torsion Bar and the Soft Cell cushioning that were each quite revolutionary when released.

The United States seems dominated by a few footwear brands in the sneaker market. It’s no secret that the boys in Beaverton, Oregon have had a stronghold on consumers for a while, but adidas, especially with their Originals line, has re-inserted themselves as a major player in the domestic kicks race. The Jeremy Scott models, like the J-Wings, License Plate, and the 3-Tongue, have pushed boundaries and been quite successful. Other collaboration projects with the likes of George Lucas with the Star Wars releases, adidas Originals by Originals KzK, and James Bond have yielded products that have sent other brands’ designers back to their laptops and sketchpads. MEGA, while not as aggressively-styled or envelope-pushing as the Jeremy Scott models, is in the same vein of relevance, yet in this adidas line, more so than the others mentioned, heritage is a major component.

So how does a brand keep moving forward while honoring the past? Freshness spoke to Noah Bernard, Category Manager, adidas Originals Footwear, about just that. Through the conversation, we also learn about the technical specs of the models, the trend to go large, and much more. So the next time so see a pair of MEGA kicks in the store, you’ll know that, like the diner in the advertisements, something fresh pulsates beneath the throwback exterior.

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