To accompany the rambling and rudimentary Photoshop imagery
of our best shoes of 2012 writeup
from earlier in the week, we thought we'd do our customary Q&As with the people behind some of the years most significant shoes. Bloggers, "tastemakers" and "influencers" are all well and good, but we only trust the talk from those who actually work in the field. Solebox's Hikmet isn't a designer, but he's banged out so many collaborations in the 10 years that the Berlin store has been open that he knows exactly what he's doing when it comes to a partner project.
We loved the Consortium reissue of the obscure adidas Torsion Allegra design from the 1994 era and the duo of colourways - one inspired by the original 1992 Allegra makeup and another from Solebox (the Solebox editions sold out in less than five minutes and select sizes of the EQT editions
are still available in the Crooked Tongues store) and felt that Hikmet and the team gave the shoe a perfect colourway to maintain the shoe's progressive looks and capture the aesthetic of the era in which it first appeared. That's quite a feat.
We hope that adidas keep the modern classics coming in and out of the Consortium collection because there's uneducated and educated audiences who love the looks of those silhouettes and they don't come much more educated than German collectors who love early to mid 1990's 3-striped runners. The Solebox Allegra was a shoe of the year from the moment we saw it so we hit up Hikmet to get a little more information on this design and the role shoes like this play in his part of the world.
Hikmet, this is your second early 1990s adidas shoe — do you have a personal relationship with adidas EQT Torsion designs?
I love running shoes and there a lot of great runners from adidas. Of course the Equipment Series was a great thing — all the ZXs and other Torsion ones too. These Allegras are not EQTs by the way, but one of the Cross Torsion Bar ones.
Did you discuss bringing this model back with the Consortium team?
We put our heads together for our 10th Anniversary and Consortium team came up with these as a model for our project. We saw them and were instantly into it. They are great as a mixture of modern and classic at once — technical and old school. But there are a lot of more early '90s runners I would love to put my hands on — sadly it's not as easy as many maybe think. Many of these shoes run under the performance logo of adidas and this makes it an internal issue of different divisions . So many things don't happen due to these internal structures, which is pretty sad. At the end all the products have Three Stripes and to say it in the words of adidas, adidas is all in! But who knows? Maybe we will see more in the future under the Consortium umbrella.
Berlin is a real EQT city - have you seen some crazed collectors pass through the store? Have you seen some of the prices go for on eBay?
We have lots of love here for the '90s adidas runners and it's not only Berlin. Germany-wise it's the east side of Berlin, Dresden, Magdeburg, Leipzig, etc. There is a big fan base for these styles from all cities of the former Eastern Germany. After the wall came down it was the early '90s products which came to their attention — especially from the German brand adidas. And of course the top tier products like the Equipment series. So you will see all the early '90s ones fetching high price on eBay from the people hunting for shoes which they had in the past or which they were not able to buy in the past.
What are your personal favourites?
My favourites are the Guidance and Cushion from 1991 and of course the second Equipment series from 1993 — Cushion and Support. My favorite is the Radical from the X-Series from 1993. Love these!
Was there any specific plan or concept with the colourway or was it just to capture that 1990s feel?
Yes. The main idea was to give it a matching '90s colourway. At this time it was Olympic Games in London. So I got inspired by the idea of the rings colourway to combine all national flags with these colours.
Were any ideas rejected during the sample process?
No. It is always fun to work with adidas. A big thank you to Otto from adidas Consortium for helping us on the product side. And of course a big thank you to the rest of the team — Karsten, Flo, Melayne and all the others. And a big thank you to the CT family! You guys have done a lot for the European sneaker community!