Nowadays, the notion of a rapper collaborating with a big name sports brand is about as unexpected as rain in British summertime. But that wasn’t the case back in the late ‘80s when Run DMC and Adidas teamed up; the group’s single ‘My Adidas’, released just over 30 years ago, was an ode to the German sportswear brand.
At the time the single was released, the Superstar was an old basketball shoe with limited appeal. Run DMC raised the sneaker’s profile with their new and striking way to wear it. However, strictly speaking, they didn’t invent the look. The trainer without laces combo was a nod to the American prison system (laces were removed to prevent inmates from hanging themselves), and the black Lee jeans, leather goose down jackets, Cazal glasses and gold rope chains had long been the garb of New York hustlers.
Following the Superstar’s endorsement from Run DMC, sales of the shoe hit close to half a million pairs in 1987 and Adidas rolled out their own Run DMC line, complete with sponsored tours. This paved the way for lucrative hip hop/sportswear collaborations in the future.