Highsnobiety’s Sneaker Jury Delivers Their Verdict on the Prada x adidas Superstar

Highsnobiety’s sneaker jury is tasked with bringing sneakers to trial by delivering a verdict on key releases. Our recurring jury will convene for the most pivotal sneaker drops to serve up analysis and commentary. Stay posted for upcoming editions, when a new jury will weigh in with their verdict on the next big release.

This week, the defendant is the made-in-Italy Prada x adidas Superstar.

The jury is now in session.

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Here’s an exclusive look at @adidasoriginals’ upcoming collaboration with @prada. Using the timeless Superstar to debut their partnership, the sneaker is Made in Italy by Prada and will be limited to 700 pairs worldwide. The collaborators opt for a minimal but luxurious take on the Superstar, using Prada’s full grain leather for the upper. Collaborative branding can be found on the tongue, insole and lateral side of the heel. Rounding off the collection is the Prada Bowling bag for adidas, a nod to the world of sports and their shared heritage. Release is scheduled for December 4th through prada.com and adidas.com as well as select Prada stores worldwide. #hskicks

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“On paper, Prada for adidas sounds like the ultimate can’t-miss, which is exactly why the final result is so utterly disappointing. Clearly, adidas is using this blockbuster of a collab to put some juice behind the Superstar for 2020, but in picking such a pedestrian model, everything great about Prada’s best in class high-fashion technical footwear is nowhere to be found on the old-school (albeit old iconic) silhouette. I would much rather see Prada and adidas whip up something completely new from scratch. Ultimately, this project speaks more to how collabs these days are seemingly reverse-engineered to grab headlines and buzz rather than push the envelope of how brands can come together to create inspiring product that’s more than the sum of its parts. I couldn’t care less how many were made or where it’s made if absolutely zero ingenuity comes along with it. And a bowling bag isn’t going to change that.”

Verdict: Drop

“I’m a little bummed out, to be honest. I really thought this could’ve been an opportunity to bring two brands that both have amazing heritages/identities together, but I’m underwhelmed. In my opinion, I believe that collaborations should have purpose behind the design. It should be something completely unique and clever, and I just don’t see that here. I’ll remain optimistic for the next release, but I’m gonna have to pass on this one.”

Verdict: Drop

“It would have been cool if it had gray and red accents instead of black, and the insoles were mesh, to feel similar to white America’s Cup sneakers. I think the logo should have just been on the tongue and not the heel. But I mean, it’s a clean white shoe, and clean white shoes are my everyday go-to shoes to wear. Prada AC [America’s Cup] sneakers were definitely heavy in the street when I was younger – it was my first “expensive” shoe at 18 – so yeah, I’m throwing these on with some Dickies.”

Verdict: Cop

“Very mixed feelings about this one. I love the idea and concept and I’m happy to finally see a luxury couture house merge with sports heritage on a project, however, I feel the rollout is all wrong. Adidas needs the energy right now, and forcing an expensive bundle isn’t going to get people excited and rushing out there for them. Should’ve had a wider release at a $500 price-point launch in the Milan Prada flagship, following up with energy accounts and pop-ups globally after. A bundle with bag and clothing options should arrive after, in my opinion, so I’ll wait for the unbundled release – but hey, what do I know about sneakers, right?”

Verdict: Drop

“This shoe really splits opinions. It’s easy to point out that adidas and Prada could have done more with the design, but then in response, it’s easy to highlight adidas is known for all-white shoes, and that a luxury Superstar is a nice concept. I gravitate toward the classic stuff; I love the Superstar and Campus. It’s a shame the bowling bag and the sneakers come as a set. But this is still a cop.”

Verdict: Cop

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