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Stan Smith on Being an Unsuspecting Sneaker Icon

If you are one of the hundreds of shoe brands having a successful run with all-white leather sneakers, send a thank you note to this man, Stanley Roger “Stan” Smith.

Adidas created a stir out of thin air at the end of 2011 by pulling the Stan Smith sneaker—a simple, all-white leather lace-up with a tennis green tab on the heel and an image of Smith on the tongue—out of stores, only to re-introduce the shoe in 2014 to a consumer base hungry for classic, heritage and authentic footwear.

The Stan Smith returned in sharp-looking green and white packaging and with a note about its namesake’s tennis roots. Meanwhile, a team of social media influencers amplified the sneaker’s place in the market, just as Normcore fashion was trending. The shoe outlasted the fad and has since spurred a mass of copycats at both designer and discount levels.

At times, Smith, a former world No. 1 American tennis player and two-time Grand Slam singles champion, sounds more like a shoe dog than a tennis icon. “Nike is a bad word in my vocabulary, but I was reading [Nike Founder] Phil Knight’s memoir, “Shoe Dog,” and realized what it means to be one. A shoe dog is interested in creating, wearing and manufacturing shoes—I can relate to that,” he said.

Read more at Vamp.

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