Adidas Originals are Adidas heritage products - that includes sneakers and clothing - that were released in the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's and 1980's. The roots of Adidas Originals can be traced back to 1996: when Adidas replaced their trefoil logo with their new performance logo. Many of Adidas' heritage sneakers - such as the Stan Smith - had the trefoil logo printed upon the tongue and back of the shoe, and Adidas would continue to use the trefoil logo on such heritage sneakers. Shown below, Adidas heritage products can be identified by the following trefoil Originals logo:
In 2001, Adidas began a 'three part restructure' of their products - Adi Dassler had always referred to his company as the 'three stripes' company - and during this restructuring Adidas' heritage products would be renamed as Adidas Originals. The other two divisions were Adidas Performance and Adidas Sport Style. The 1980's had seen sneakers become increasingly sophisticated, incorporating: gel, air bubbles, and tongue pumps. However, many 'sneakerheads' felt the technological gimmicks hampered the style and design of sneakers, and that modern sneakers were ugly. An aversion to over-the-top design patterns and technology - not needed for casual wear - led many consumers to return to purchasing the 'retro' sneakers of the 1960's and 1970's; primarily the 1970's.
The popularity of 'retro' sneakers in the early and mid 1990's led to the creation of the Adidas Originals brand. The Adidas Originals brand proved hugely successful; introducing a new generation to classic Adidas sneakers. Adidas Originals were easily recognised because the products used the older Adidas trefoil logo - which usually had 'Originals' lettering printed below it. Adidas Originals sneakers are typically packaged in the classic Adidas light blue shoe box. Some of the most popular Adidas Originals sneakers are: Stan Smith, Samba, Gazelle, City Series, Dragon, Speizial, ZX 8000, LA, Tubular, ZX Flux and Superstar
In 2001, Adidas opened their first 'Originals' store in Berlin (Germany), and opened their second Originals store in Toyko (Japan). Due to the success of their first Originals stores, Adidas opened two more Originals stores in North America: located in New York and Miami. Since then Adidas has opened hundreds of outlet stores; in the UK: Livingston, Sterling Mills, Newcastle, Dalton Park, Leeds, Antrim, Liverpool, Manchester, Castleford, Pear Mill, Cheshire Oaks, Mansfield, Bridgend, Birmingham, Braintree, Wembley, White City, London Oxford Street and Convent Garden.