The signature shoe of several time world tennis champion, and still legendary George ‘Rod’ Laver, the adidas Rod Laver has been a mainstay for the brand, and now a central part of the Originals range since its 1970 launch. The key to its success? Utter simplicity. In line with court decorum and regulations of the era, the famous 3-Stripes were shorn for this shoe, and the purity of the Rod Laver set something of a standard for sneaker design – the move to pare down the corporate identity and let the silhouette do the talking is a landmark move too.
Beyond favourite colour combinations like the traditional white and green, the material mix of leather and mesh kept things breathable and lightweight without compromising looks. This bare bones approach gave the shoe an ageless quality. A follow-up, wider, chunkier in the sole and with added midsole and heel branding became another icon and a worldwide Summer standard, notably deified in NYC as the timeless hot weather choice.
Almost forty years after the original design’s introduction, it’s back in a tweaked form, retaining its iconic classicism for an ambitious adidas Originals Consortium project. Nine global Consortium partners, each famed for their innovative approach to retail, were given the Rod Laver to rework with their choice of colours, fabrics and more for release in extremely limited numbers at Consortium stores throughout August and September 2009.
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