Adidas’ new Forum Exhibit sneakers give vintage design a modern look
As Adidas continues to push its Forum model into the mainstream market, more and more iterations of the retro sneaker are coming in by the day – a strategy reminiscent of Nike’s never-ending Dunk rollout. The German brand presented three new versions of the Forum, each drawing inspiration from the shoe’s basketball roots. According to Adidas, the collection represents an open invitation to self-expression and challenges the status quo.
To celebrate the Forum’s redefined style, the sneaker campaign features independent artists Slowthai and Beabadoobee embracing the “Open Forum” spirit, as Adidas calls it. Inspired by the free spirit of the 1980s – the decade that saw the Forum first come to life – the energy of the “Open Forum” encourages others to express themselves (through a mass-marketed sneaker).
An ’80s classic, updated for today – With individuality in mind, Adidas updated the classic Forum design with a removable strap and luxury white leather uppers, part of which uses recycled materials in line with the brand’s sustainability efforts. The revamped model, dubbed Forum Exhibit, comes in a low adaptation with pops of red and navy, as well as a higher mid iteration that sports black and pastel blue accents for a contemporary look.
A nod to the sneaker’s basketball heritage, an original version of the Forum Low joins the two modern Exhibit models. Touches of red, yellow and navy blue decorate the shoe’s white upper, showcasing an 80s look.
Designs don’t matter, advertising does – The latest Adidas Forum offerings have already joined the brand’s mountain of retro designs online, allowing consumers to choose from independent sneakers. But with Adidas pushing the Forum harder than any of its other models – even racking up influence from Bad Bunny, Beyoncé, and Jeremy Scott – the figure may start to sell out soon.
A new group of consumers, Generation Z, hold the fate of the Forum in their hands (or rather, their feet). The younger generation, who have proven themselves to launch and end trends in record time, are Adidas’ most sought-after marketing demographic thanks to the consistent online influence of its members and, most importantly, income. available.
The brand’s campaign marketing with independent stars like Slowthai and Beabadoobee – both of whom are popular among Gen Z – shows just how much Adidas caters to the younger generation. Additional forum seeds for independent influencers like Devon Lee Carlson, Salem Mitchell, Kevin Abstract, and Steve Lacy have only further saturated the market.
If the younger generation gives the Adidas model a chance, the Forum could easily gain popularity: but if the Zoomers don’t want the Adidas Forum – despite careful marketing, celebrity recommendations and independent seeds – the sneaker will not be able to make the triumphant comeback that Adidas has planned.