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Adidas has revised its classic basketball silhouette for a new generation

WORDS BY IZZY WIGHT

Culture shouldn’t be a closed world.

In high school, I meticulously learnt every word to Kanye’s Watch the Throne album, spending an afternoon each week watching ‘official lyric’ Youtube videos on my iPod Touch. Not because I’m a rap aficionado, but because I had a debilitating crush on a lanky boy who made his love for Kanye West his sole personality trait.

I’m sad to say that when the time finally came – the moment to effortlessly showcase my new ‘cool girl’ talent – he laughed at me, him and his friends calling me a ‘poser’ because I didn’t know College Dropout and I’d never even watched a Bulls game.


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From that moment on, I mentally lumped Kanye West into the gatekept ‘for the boys’ section of pop culture – along with most fanatical team sports, Marvel movies and anything that could be dubbed part of the ‘hypebeast’ or ‘sneakerhead’ community.

It felt like I could never win – I was either too into something (suspicious, likely for attention) or not into it enough (fake fan, superiority complex). Unfortunately, this experience seems to be intrinsically linked to simply identifying as a woman and if the rise of the ‘pick me’ girl has taught us nothing, it’s that self-expression is okay – as long as you’re quiet about it.

The good news? Change is coming from the most unlikely of places – cult sneaker label and the favoured brand of Mr Yeezy himself, Adidas. The new Adidas F/W ’21 collection Forum pays homage to the silhouette that shaped ’80s basketball culture, reinvented for an entirely new audience. Inspired by the incoming slew of open-minded Gen Z creatives, the new Forum sneaker celebrates a generation that champions openness as a way of life.

Unlike my 2011 Kanye high school incident, the Forum sneaker is a no-prerequisites-required celebration of unapologetic amateurism. Some of this generation’s most forward-thinking cultural juggernauts rose to fame in the most inadvertent of ways – like artist Beabadoobee, one of the fresh faces fronting the Forum campaign (along with Britain’s unabashed, unapologetic and completely lovable MC, Slowthai).

Beatrice Laus’ tongue-twister stage name was flippantly taken from her finsta account, simply because she “didn’t think this [music] was going to be a thing”. This irreverent spirit, experimental nature and fearlessness are exactly what Adidas’ Forum campaign wanted to spotlight.

Shop the full Forum collection here.

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