We like looking at brand archives and adidas' Herzogenaurach facility is a thing of wonder.
The only downside is that not everyone can visit and getting out there is annoying — especially if you hate getting up early to fly. But to be there is some Wonka-type steez, like Nike's mysterious D.N.A. department or the rooms around New Balance's Flimby facilities. What they lack in moralistic little people and flowing chocolate rivers, they more than make up for with yellowing awesomeness in the form of prototypes, lasts and the kinds of insights that are lost in the speed of blog page turnovers. For a long, long time, we've been crying to adidas
Originals about the brand's long history and role in pioneering technologies we take for granted. Herbs, toys and new jacks aren't aware of how powerful the adidas story is and Streetwear Dave is too busy fixing his OBEY hat at a jaunty angle to pay full attention, but no brand can come close to the richness of adidas' dusty shelves. Fortunately, the launch of the adidas archive site has brought browsing those hallowed shelves to your home so there's no excuse for being clueless when it comes to this brand any more.
On first glance, we thought adidas-archive.org was just a re-up of the 2008/2009 site that showcased some great stuff then vanished and that the fancy rotating mass of oldness was a little limited. Then we delved deeper and saw the scale of adidas History Management's online endeavour. You can see some signed EQT shoes, watch a wildly outdated 1989 German commercial, see an adicolor promo, Superstar prototypes, a 1961 catalogue, a 1993 Mutombo catalogue, ice skates from the 1930s, selected pages from plenty of cookbooks including a 1992 trail collection one and following little Exhibition trails throws up some awesome little Easter eggs, including an Equipment film that seems to be solely made for internal use to motivate the demotivated adidas troops of 1990. There's also mini documentaries on key models and technologies. What initially appears a little spartan betrays a ton of good stuff. As a work in progress, this seems to be just part of a new digital strategy for adidas that highlights the best of the brand. We're looking forward to seeing how it develops, but you can see the work so far by clicking THIS LINK