You can tell when the seasons shift in Hong Kong, because it is like waking up in a new city.
Everything looks different in the spring. Concrete walls give way to sprouting vines, brown dead grass is reborn in technicolor green and barren branches suddenly hang heavy with blossoms. The white snow that diluted cityscapes in colder months dissolves into spring showers saturating the metropolis.
This new view offers everyone a fresh perspective on new projects and old habits. So while I decided to give away most of my belongings in a neatly organized spring yard sale with friends and co-workers, my mind was running after the possibility to land that great pair of sneakers I’ve been chasing for years like it was the Unicorn.
It’s hard to find a good mix. But then again, if the shoe fits…
The city I moved in is not only an explosion of colour and cultural diversity. It’s a nest for baking stupendous collaborations between local artists, iconic people and our cherished objects of desire. Thus I was pleasantly surprised when Adidas’ springtime collaboration connected a modern-day Hong Kong actor and musician to a 1970’s American athlete.
Stan Smith was born in 1946. He is a former world No. 1 American tennis player and two-time Grand Slam singles champion who also, with his partner Bob Lutz, formed one of the most successful doubles teams of all time.
“A lot of people now think I’m a shoe. They don’t even know I was a tennis player. The shoe has really taken on a life of its own, way beyond me.”
– Stan Smith
The result is a subdued version of the classic Stan Smith tennis shoe, inspired by Edison Chen’s JUICE retail franchise.
Edison Chen’s career spans music, film, and style. Alongside creative partner Kevin Poon he is the co-founder of CLOT, the team behind JUICE, a succession of stores across Hong Kong, Taipei and mainland China.
The JUICE stores are now immaculately designed with a mix of industrial neutrals such as natural wood, concrete and metal, offset by patches of natural greenery.
Chen was inspired by the contrast between the East Asian megacities that share the region as some of the world’s oldest rainforests.
The stark white and emerald leather that the Stan Smith is known for turns to light grey and forest green suede for a softer, more natural look.
This redesign is part of Adidas’ Consortium Tour, which takes the German athletics brand around the world to collaborate with the most influential sneaker retailers of today. The yearlong project started with New York’s KITH in January and has since hopped capitals across continents.
So while you’re headed for making peace with both your environmental thrive and your basic need for shoes that fit, you might wanna try this one out. It reminded me of that time artists in my home town gathered for Design Week and put up together a crazy lawn installation inside a bourgeois house from the end of the 19th century. I love grass, and the feel of walking slowly on it is as lightweight as walking in these shoes.
Good job, guys.
Angela Waters is an American jazz singer-turned-journalist, who is always curious about how to do things herself, from making the perfect Sidecar to carpentry.