Your childhood sneakers are keeping Adidas afloat

Sambas are sweeping the fashion scene and bringing in big profits for the brand.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and one middle schooler’s sneaker is now the shoe of the summer.

Feet wearing black Adidas Sambas with white ankle socks.

The Adidas Samba, first introduced in 1949 to help soccer players train on icy fields, is having a renaissance.

What was once a humble, affordable sneaker popular with athletes and kids at recess is now a high-fashion status symbol.

  • Celebrities like A$AP Rocky, Rihanna, and Bella Hadid were photographed sporting Sambas as early as 2021, and Jonah Hill created his own sneaker.
  • Collaborations with fashion brands like Wales Bonner cemented the sneaker as a must-have.
  • The hashtag #adidassamba has 534m+ views on TikTok and the shoe has taken off on social media.

They’ve sold out multiple times on Adidas’ site, and Google searches for the shoe are at an all-time high.

On resale sites like StockX, some Sambas are selling for as much as 8x their original prices. ($800+ Sambas, anyone?)

This comes at a good time…

… for a brand that recently hit a massive roadblock.

Adidas needed to fill a Kanye-shaped hole after the company cut ties with the rapper and Yeezy sales dropped $441m YoY.

The brand had its hands full with $1.3B of unsold stock, and its North American market saw sales decline 20%.

But Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden remains optimistic: He says that the Sambas are part of a new franchise for the business, and that it “can be millions and millions of pairs.”

To kick off the next era…

… Adidas is going all-in on its (new) favorite child: It launched a Samba pop-up in Shanghai and hosted aSamba Cafe with Pharrell Williams during Paris Fashion Week.

Now for some Adidas trivia: The first Sambas looked more like leather hiking boots, and the shoes only came in black until 2011.

Topics: Clothing Fashion

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