Has Adidas Been the Leader of Effortless French Style All Along?

I ask you to consider two recent consumable products that have been published for purchase on several luxury corners of the Internet:

These white sneakers, so clearly manufactured in “dedication” to the now-pervasive Stan Smith sneaker.

And these red track pants, which I swear on the tampon in my left boob pocket, were Adidas in 2001. I know this to be true because I not only owned them but I snapped them off at any opportunity that presented itself. Dinner ready? Pants off. House phone ringing? Pants off. Brother crying? You know.

I appreciate them both — the pants and the shoes. So much that I have gone so far as to obtain the latter (granted, in an elaborate leopard print), but worth questioning is who really encapsulates the effortless style.

Here we have Isabel Marant, who tiptoed into fashion in 1995 with a line of bohemian style tunics and boots that jingled, and airy skirts that did wonderful things for women’s legs. Twenty years, almost to date, after the birth of her label, Marant has indubitably amassed her popularity based on her ability to sell a lifestyle that is so easy, so effortless, so downright cool, it never could have come with a price tag previously.

And then we have Adidas: a behemoth that’s been manufacturing sportswear since 1949, and while, yes, it is easy to blame the recent influx of “elevated sportswear” within fashion on a totem of 21st century dressing (we are ironists, and as such should address that in the outfitting choices we make), there is a level of sincerity with which many of us live. If we’re taking to track pants that might simply mean the silhouette is satisfying; they’re saying what they need to say, and you, or I, feel good in them. I’ll take this one step further:

Maybe I mean to wear Birkenstocks because I find them easy on the eye, or just comfortable. And that pastel blue, Peter Pan-collared puffer coat? Yes, sure, a pillar of the way in which many young boys interpreted achievable warmth in, say, 1972, but also a fine way to stay warm in 2015.

So now I ask you this: are these sneakers and these track pants an ironic nod to a heritage brand that we’ve been softly overlooking, or are they simply a manifestation of The Changing Times? If that is the case, should we defer to point A and consider the inevitable — that Adidas has been the steward of effortless style all along?

  • Amelia Diamond


  • Lulu

    I think It has to do with the sports wear influence on fashion these days. What’s old is new again kinda thing. Adidas is such a classic sports wear brand that it works with whats going on with fashion right now.

  • no…i feel it’s more in the attitude that these sporty pants makes you feel when you wear them…the idea that it’s coming from the” world of sport”it encpsulat energy of sport ..effortless //than chic
    Yael Guetta

  • I agree with Lulu! It’s just the cycle of fashion.


  • Definitely a nod to Adidas. Loved them in high school so much and still do.


  • I can’t get a pair of red and white Stan Smiths to save my life and I am blaming it on the Isabel Marant effect!

    The Awkward Blog

  • Not only clothes, but also language sounds so much cooler in french!


  • Dawn

    Adidas copycats and like vintage. Fashion has now deemed them style, and parlayed them into comfortable chic. Love the look, and memories of Stan Smith’s, but I feel like I missed the boat over the past year and that now they’re too fashion-commercialized and that I’d be the copycat.

  • I love that the stan smiths are back in fashion, They are everywhere and interpreted in different brands as well. Sandro are making a great one with velcro.

    Much Love


  • Oh my god, I wore my Adidas track pants to death my first year of college. They were the only thing that kept me warm, and kept me sane during late night study sessions, early morning exams, and learning to cook ramen like a boss.

    I’ve always been a big fan of Adidas in fashion because it keeps things real. When we’re all tired of teetering around on pin-thin heels, we can just slip into some white sneakers and still look fresh. Maybe that’s the secret – the French understand when it’s time to hang up the serious fashion and just get comfortable. 🙂

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  • Lua Jane

    My two best friends are lifelong Adidas afficionados, superstar sneakers especially, and I never really understood. I prefer simple pieces that are less sportswear inspired, but I think Stan Smiths turned me into convert. I like the idea of simple clean shape sneakers and dressy stuff. It’s the kind of thing that is so right you wonder how it took you so long to fall for it.

  • Victoria

    I am french and I definitely do not have the “effortless french coolness” *sigh*

  • So essentially effortless French style is not even French….it’s German?…..

    • Leandra Medine

      I think maybe it’s more fair to say that one of the principals of humanity when it comes to fashion and trends, etc, is that what defines what we like/create/build isn’t as reliant of where we’re from as much as it is who we are. Which is maybe just a more confusing way to say we are co-opters.

  • Catherine

    Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité! Thanks to the French gift of combining the practical with the exotic we are off the hook for an ex$pensive pair of Golden Goose trainers…

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  • Bella Charlwood

    I live for my adidas original superstars!

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  • Jamie Leland