A Brief History: adidas Originals Campus

Speaking personally, there’s nothing better than a nice clean pair of buttery suede Campus. It’s one of the more low key adidas Originals lines that’s held a solid place within the brand for years. Having never really seen the spotlight as much as it’s sibling the Superstar or Stan Smith, it’s one of those underrated shoes that’s always just been casually chilling in the background. 

Upon researching we found a variation of the standard suede we’re used to seeing. A leather training shoe under the same name was released as a brother of sorts to the Gazelle, an all round shoe built for a variety of sports.

Starting off properly on the basketball court back in the 1980’s, the Campus arrived at a time when adidas were already doing great things in the sporting world. The Superstar’s textured toe-piece was already turning heads alongside the elevated Pro Model, and on the football side Gazelle reigned supreme.

The 80’s and 90’s saw a boom within the world of Hip Hop. Different variants of sportswear were being worn and marketed left, right and centre, and some of the most iconic performance products from brands were being re-appropriated with style as the significant USP. Photographer Glenn E. Friedman was responsible for capturing a young Adam Horowitz and Mike Diamond (Ad-Rock and Mike D to the educated) rocking pairs of Campus for the Check Your Head album cover and promo imagery, which no doubt helped raise the profile of the suede low-top.

Further down the line there have been some great releases that have added extra clout behind the Campus lineage. Hip Hop outfit House of Pain created their own Irish themed tribute, a full reflective 3M treatment appeared to kick off a popular material trend that others followed, and premium Consortium level reworkings by Footpatrol, BAPE & UNDFTD and Japanese design heavyweight Kazuki Kuraishi have also helped elevate the silhouette.

This year the Campus is back with the addition of vintage debossed side-branding, a variation we’ve not seen on shelves for a good few years now. Debuting in three colourways renowned for their use on the Campus over the years, it’s great start to what we hope is a lengthy revival of a very underrated shoe.

All three colourways of the adidas Originals Campus are available online now and in all size? stores, priced at £75.

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