Interview: Hermann Deininger

In Milan for the launch of Adidas Originals Spring Summer 09 collection, JUICE grabbed a the mic and stuck it to CMO adidas Sport Style, Hermann Deininger. Now on the cusp of the Adidas Originals 60 Years of Souls And Striped House Party here in Malaysia, we reprint that interview for JUICEonline.

This year is the 60th anniversary of Adidas Originals. What is the direction of the Adidas Original brand campaign for this season?
2009 is the 60th birthday of the Adidas brand, especially with the Originals, so we’re celebrating 60 years of originality. This is the overriding theme – Celebrate Originality. The S/S 09 collection is also about the rich history and heritage of the Adidas brand so we went into our archives. From a product perspective, you will see the overriding theme of Sixty Years of Souls and Stripes, so expect all the variety and diversity of Adidas Originals in the S/S 09 Collection.

Adidas is known for its collaborations with big-name designers and brands. Does that distill Adidas as a brand?
For us it’s exciting to see their interpretation of an iconic product. When they redesign a Superstar, they’re not changing the Superstar, they’re showing us their interpretation.

Tell us about the new Italian collaboration.
In 2009, we’ll be having a new collaboration, which we’re also going to launch today to the public, which is our collaboration with Vespa. This is very exciting for us because it is a new facet of our mobility segment which we introduced successfully years ago when we started it with Goodyear. Two years ago, we added to that with Porsche Design. And now we have a totally new exciting element with Vespa.

We’ve noticed it’s for men. What about women?
You’re absolutely right. When you start a collaboration you first need to define the core of the collaboration, what is the spirit, the values, the emotions we’re sharing as two different brands. Together with Vespa, we decided on a very pragmatic approach: to start with the men’s footwear package first and extensions of that into apparel. Talking about women, a lot of effort was put into the 2009 collection to come up with a totally new fully integrated, holistic women’s collection, cross-merchandised from footwear to apparel to accessories, which I think underlines our focus on the female consumer.

Adidas is represented at all Fashion Weeks in London, Paris, New York and Milan – quite an achievement – but do you feel that streetwear is under-represented at Fashion Weeks internationally?
I think the character of the various Fashion Weeks is different. The Milan Fashion Week is much more open about streetwear than Paris Fashion Week. But it’s difficult to say if it’s under-represented. There are different platforms, like Bread & Butter in Barcelona.

Music is a big part of what inspires Adidas, and 08’s Sounds of the City was an exciting campaign for streetwear fans. How is music being incorporated into the coming collection?
There’s not a specific music theme as there was with Sounds of the City in the S/S09 collection. We will be collaborating with a record company in the urban segment who also celebrates it’s anniversary next year, Def Jam. So this is one way we express he importance of music next to sport and fashion; I think that these are the three core pillars of youth culture. And especially with adidas Originals, we’re connecting those pieces pretty well.

What do you listen to?
It’s pretty much a spectrum from classical music to pop to a little bit of jazz, electronic, dance music. I wouldn’t say that I have a single favourite. But I was at the Madonna concert a few days ago….

How many pairs of Adidas Originals sneakers do you own?
Currently I would say I have about a hundred pairs. But I think being a little bit older I have maybe much more than a hundred currently.

Any plans for accessories in the near future?
Adidas Originals has unlimited growth opportunities. Footwear and apparel for us we’re just at the beginning. Accessories are a huge opportunity for us, but there are other concepts which are in the higher end of fashion.

The Adidas House Party features Sinden and is supported by Lapsap and DJ Goldfish. It all goes down Friday 27 February 2009 at 10.30pm at Zouk KL. For event and tix details click on Events. To win 1 of 3 pairs of exclusive tix click on Contests.