Behind the Iconic adidas Superstar Uniting the Inspiring Arab Female Changemakers

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One icon has been uniting the worlds of MUSIC, ART, FASHION, and SPORT for more than 50 years – the adidas Superstar. Some of the region’s boundary-pushing changemakers from these creative fields celebrate a legend.

Al Nasr Club Women’s Basketball Team for Vogue x adidas Originals. Photographed by Greg Adamski for the February 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia.

For 50 years, the adidas Superstar sneaker’s iconic design has graced the feet of tastemakers, culture-changers, and trendsetters across the globe. That’s a half-century since the beloved “shell toe” first made its appearance as a low-top version of the Pro Model basketball shoe, almost instantly becoming a cultural staple. Worn on the court by the likes of basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Superstar has transcended street and sports culture, passed down through the decades to artists, designers, musicians, and athletes. Over 50 years, the Superstar has steadfastly stood for those who make a difference in their game. Born as the pinnacle of sports innovation, the Superstar was the first all-leather basketball shoe, made for the demands of a modern, iconoclastic sport played on the run and above the rim. Soon, celebrated players like George Irvine and Bob Verga were sporting Superstars on the court.

It wasn’t long before creative squads from the worlds of music and fashion adopted the Superstar as their own. Often imitated, never duplicated, the adidas Superstar’s look is clean and crisp – making it a cultural signifier and touchstone like no other. Starting with Run DMC, the first musicians to co-sign a sneaker, the Superstar has a long history of collaboration. Done up in all the colors of the rainbow by Pharrell and interpreted by names ranging from Undefeated to Bad Boy Records, the Superstar has always stood for creativity and teamwork. Adopted by the New York crews shaping hip-hop like Rock Steady Crew and The Beastie Boys, the instantly recognizable three-stripe sneaker brings together boundary-pushing collectives across the globe. Even Madonna got in on the action with a white-and-red combo in the 1980s. Skateboarders added to the Superstars’s counterculture appeal, with legend skaters like Keith Hufnagel and Kareem Campbell doing their heelflips in the distinctive three-stripe sneaker.

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The worlds of music and art collided with the adidas Superstar in 2005, when Roc-a-Fella, Missy Elliot, and Andy Warhol collaborated on the 35th Anniversary Edition. This spirit of creativity, boldness, and standing up for what you believe in speaks directly to the next generation of Superstar superfans – the artists, creators, communities, and movers who share the adidas Superstar’s change-making DNA. The ones who will shape the future into exactly what they want.

This year adidas Originals is celebrating 50 years of adidas Superstar by highlighting the power of teamwork through a series of initiatives designed to create and inspire positive change in local communities. We’re joining them by bringing together female game-changers from across the region each creating change within their worlds ensuring Superstar is still an iconic fashion statement 50 years on.

After all, CHANGE IS A TEAM SPORT.

Vogue x adidas Originals

Asma Elbadawi for Vogue x adidas Originals. Photographed by Greg Adamski for the February 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia.

Asma Elbadawi

The hijabi basketball player helped lift the ban on female players wearing a hijab, opening the sport up to millions of girls who were previously excluded. Elbadawi is also an accomplished spoken word poet and a global adidas ambassador.

Asma Elbadawi wears hijab, dress, socks, Superstar sneakers, all adidas Originals; pants, Asos; sunglasses, stylist’s own

Vogue x adidas Originals

Fatima Alhashmi for Vogue x adidas Originals. Photographed by Greg Adamski for the February 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia.

Fatima Alhashmi

The head of music section at the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development is an internationally acclaimed pianist, opera singer, and architectural engineer, working to build and expand the music world in the UAE.

Fatima Alhashmi wears jumper, pants, Superstar sneakers, all adidas Originals; abaya, Fatima Alhashmi’s own

Vogue x adidas Originals

Neel Jassani for Vogue x adidas Originals. Photographed by Greg Adamski for the February 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia.

Neel Jassani

Dubai-based illustrator and creative Neel Jassani may only be 18, but she’s already created campaigns for the African Global Business Forum, Harvard Business School, and Bloomingdale’s.

Neel Jassani wears jacket, Asos; jeans, Neel Jassani’s own; top, socks, Superstar sneakers, all adidas Originals; sunglasses, Roberi & Fraud

Vogue x adidas Originals

Arine Isk for Vogue x adidas Originals. Photographed by Greg Adamski for the February 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia.

Arine Isk

The Lebanese art director and skateboarder also founded Loud Mood, creating modern, unexpected handmade embroidered T-shirts.

Arine Isk wears jacket, Sandro; shorts, Les Benjamins; hoodie, socks, Superstar sneakers; all adidas Originals

Al Nasr Club Women’s Basketball Team for Vogue x adidas Originals. Photographed by Greg Adamski for the February 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia.

Al Nasr Club Women’s Basketball Team

Al Nasr is the oldest sports club in the UAE and established its women’s basketball team in 2012. It’s one of the pioneers of women’s youth basketball in the region, with its players regularly representing the UAE internationally.

The team wears basketball kit, Al Nasr Club; leggings, socks, Superstar sneakers, all adidas Originals

Vogue x adidas Originals

Soha Mohamed Taha, Dima Al Sheikhly, and Dina Al Sharif for Vogue x adidas Originals. Photographed by Greg Adamski for the February 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia.

Soha Mohamed Taha

The UAE-based style influencer launched her own line of modest wear called Soha MT Collection, offering a range of beshts, hijabs, and basics.

Soha Mohamed Taha wears coat, Maje; leggings, bag, Superstar sneakers, all adidas Originals; top, Soha’s own

Dima Al Sheikhly

Iraqi influencer Dima Al Sheikhly now calls Dubai home, where she regularly collaborates with high-fashion brands.

Dima Al Sheikhly wears jumpsuit, socks, Superstar sneakers, all adidas Originals; sunglasses, Karen Wazen

Dina Al Sharif

The style influencer is also CEO of Eleganza Design interior design studio, as well as launching natural skincare brand Toulane Essentials with her sister.

Dina Al Sharif wears jacket, pants, Urban Outfitters; T-shirt, Superstar sneakers, all Adidas Originals

Shop the 2020 Superstar from February 13 on adidas.ae or in adidas stores. #adidasSuperstar #ChangeIsATeamSport

Originally published in the February 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia

Style: Jennifer Kolomoni
Hair and makeup: Melanie Meyer at MMG Artists
Creative direction: Camilla Fitz-Patrick
Production: Danica Zivkovic
Production assistant: Kimia Najafi
Style assistant: Manal Altamami
Hair and makeup assistant: Laure Sejean

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