size? x adidas Originals at BEYOND THE STREETS LONDON
The BEYOND THE STREETS LONDON exhibition is currently taking place at the legendary Saatchi Gallery in London until 9 May 2023. For one night only on the 21st March between 7:30pm-10:00pm, we hosted our very own physical ?collections with the adidas Originals collector Ernie Beckmann (@erniepunk), including an additional panel talk with himself, Julia Schoierer (@sneakerqueen) plus Felix Young (@f3lixyoung) from Hypebeast and hip-hop legend DJ Semtex.
On the night, Ernie brought a vast array of famed ‘80s adidas basketball sneakers to the show, including the Rivalry “a cultural legend”, Forum, Strider, Centennial, Instinct Hi, Pro Conference Hi, Connector Hi, Super Pro Lo, and Penya. The panel talk discussed sneaker culture and its relation to other art forms, while there was also a live size?sessions performance from DJ Talia A. Darling on the night.
With a love for basketball, Ernie first saw a pair of Conductors on basketball players in Germany. He spoke about having a personal connection to the shoe and how music has influenced the sneaker’s diversity. He “listended to heavy metal and thrash metal”, and a favourite band of his Anthrax, “made an EP called, I’m the man, and on that cover, three people were wearing the adidas Conductor” showcasing the cultural perspective of the show transitioning from the court to the music scene.
Julia touched on how “street basketball” is a “part of a community” and how this community was created around these iconic models which trickled “from professional basketball players to musicians” right down to “us as kids in the 80s and 90s”. Thus, creating an added “meaning for these shoes by wearing them on stage” makes them a “cultural icon”.
Cementing itself into the world of hip-hop, adidas recognised a group “who were just getting their foot in the door” and made a “groundbreaking deal”. Run-DMC started one of the hugest style trends ever and elevated “the design” of the Superstar to a “different level in another context and everything we know about sneaker culture today is based on that”. DJ Semtex was “raised on hip-hop” and one of his earliest memories of Run-DMC was them wearing the sneakers on any album and single covers showing how synonymous the 3-Stripes are with the group.
Hip-hop is still as influential as it was back in the 80s, as “music is so organic to us as people”, Felix Young says. “It’s part of our nature, so theirs always going to be that connectivity between music and things we consume culturally, whether it’s fashion or sneakers.”
Supported by adidas Originals, BEYOND THE STREETS LONDON covers some of the most iconic graffiti and street art to exist, all curated across three floors and showcasing installations, new works, original ephemera and the culture surrounding the global street art phenomenon. Curated and founded by Roger Gastman, there’s everything from its influence on punk, hip-hop, fashion and film, while there is a glut of seminal artists featured throughout. Here’s a quote from their website on what you can find at the gallery:
“BEYOND THE STREETS LONDON examines the fundamental human need for public self-expression, highlighting artists with roots in graffiti and street art whose work has evolved into highly disciplined studio practices, alongside important cultural figures inspired by this art scene.”