Kellen Fredrickson // April 24, 2018
As a firm proponent of the resurgence that retro-styled athletic wear has found in the world of streetwear fashion, one should always be on the lookout for the latest and greatest in past-meets-future pieces.
The good news is that companies like Adidas have no shortage of history that they can look back upon for inspiration in the design of a modern form.
Their Kamanda, which is due for an April 28 release, is the perfect example of how a retro shoe can meet the styling and application of a modern sneaker.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane. The year is 1950, and founder of Adidas, Adi Dassler is keen on creating a high-performance shoe for athletic use.
Enter the Samba.
What would follow can only be described as a franchise. Across all corners of the globe, the Samba became synonymous with athletic prowess – particularly in the football (soccer) realm – eventually becoming a staple of casual athletic style for decades to come.
Head to your local mall or sportswear outlet today and you’ll find in sure supply a vast collection of Samba available, hardly deviating from its original design.
It’s that iconic.
Now let’s consider the track of current stylistic trends in streetwear. As we move into an era less defined by form fitting joggers and ripped tees, and into something more akin with a scene out of Seinfeld-era bagswag design, it’s interesting to see how sneakers have morphed to promote an aesthetic cohesion between both the past and future, the athletically functional and artistically intriguing.
The Dad Sneaker wave is officially in full effect.
Think the Nike Monarch, the Adidas Superstar– perhaps the Raf Simons Ozweego for those of you with refined palettes.
These chunky sneakers, which would be perceived somewhat comically if you were to lace them up even a year or two ago, are suddenly the trademark enthusiasts everywhere.
To some extent, there is something to feel about this unlikely shift in street style. The oversized and baggy movement is interesting, while the bleached, faux tour merch look had begun to feel like gorging the same meal every night.
However, many of the chunky sneakers on the market are questionable to say the least, even some of the ones that have gained ungodly amounts of traction on the resale market.
In poetic balance, the Kamanda marries both the sleek and clean with the chunky and bold without overdoing either one.
The suede upper is reminiscent of days gone by, complete with tongue and heel construction so akin to the Samba itself that an untrained eye may not notice the difference without a closer look.
But the chunky, wave-like outersole is something unmistakably modern – maybe even futuristic. It keeps the gum aesthetic for the sake of maintaining that retrograde finish.
It’s a marriage of heritage and modern design.
And it’s perfect.