Stan Smith Vulc, $70 by Adidas
Trace any great idea back and you'll often find one singular inspiration. For Adidas, the real life tennis pro Stan Smith was the force behind one of their most iconic sneaker silhouettes, which quickly became a worldwide classic. But for a short time before the California-born Smith became the face of the shoe in 1971, it was actually named for French tennis player Robert Haillet. After Haillet's retirement, Adidas asked Smith to endorse the sneaker and the shoe became a breakout hit in America. Later models would eventually include the now signature green foam padding at the heel and Smith's face on the tongue.
The very definition of less-is-more, the Stan Smith's design has been seen for decades amongst the ranks of the brand's timeless kicks due to its accessible shape and minimal, monochromatic style. The shoe is noted for being the first leather tennis shoe, and not including the brand's trademark three stripes, opting instead for three simple lines of perforations. A relative blank canvas, it's not surprising the sneakers have been reworked and reissued countless times, from contemporary interpretations and collaborations with cult brands to material makeovers in fleece and denim. After a lengthy hiatus that sent collectors to eBay, the standard pair (right) was rereleased this fall by Adidas Originals. This month, the latest reincarnation was introduced: the Vulc skateboarding model (above). Cut from a smooth suede, the kicks feature recessed eyelets, a grippy vector traction outsole and are finished with an ironic fuzzy moustache detailing on the tongue.
The shoes have been available for over four decades, but they're still as easy to wear as the day they were first released. Go and cop a pair as soon as possible, because you'll likely be wearing them with everything in your closet come spring.
Many people already know him as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
What people don't know is that he's been skateboarding since the '50s.