Editorial - October 10, 2019

That's 5: adidas Campus 80s Initial Product Offering™ (IPO) | Helen Kirkum

Kevin Kosanovich

Kevin holds a Ph.D. in American studies and is an expert in American cultural history and hip-hop. He is the Senior Content Manager at StockX.

Helen Kirkum

London-based designer, Helen Kirkum, worked with adidas MakerLab to reimagine the iconic adidas Campus 80s silhouette. Kirkum’s sneaker, along with Alex Nash and Shun Hirose aka RECOUTURE  versions, is available via The adidas Campus 80s StockX IPO.

Read about Kirkum’s design influences, thoughts on her Campus 80s, and more, below.

The following interview has been lightly edited. 

What influenced your sneaker design?

I was influenced by the process of making the sneaker and the Campus itself. I ended up analysing every stage of the design and construction process and visualized how I could twist it and adapt it. I wanted to create something that was inspired by itself.

How did you go from concept to finished sneaker?

It was definitely a challenge. For me, it is so much about the spontaneity of making that it was hard to translate my process and design to the factory, to achieve the handmade, tactile feeling. We worked a lot looking at techniques, prints, construction methods and how we could hack the process to make it feel right. In the end, we got to a space that feels very authentic and personal. It took an enormous amount of effort from the whole team to stay true to the vision to get to this place.

What do you find most exciting about your sneaker?

Everyone is unique. It was so important to me to create a product with a handmade, one-off feel, not just through the numbering of products, but also through the production process.

What do you want people to take away from your sneaker?

It’s playful, it encourages interaction, it’s intended to be worn and to be adapted. I hope that people can feel that they’re part of the whole design and making process. I want people to wear this shoe, to look after it, to enjoy it and to make memories in it because that’s when the whole story can come alive.

What adidas silhouette would you like to redesign next?

There are so many great ones! For me, a classic like the Superstar would be fun to play with, taking a more simple silhouette but with recognisable shapes and materials and flipping them. Something in the ZX family, like a ZX 800, which has a lot of iconic pattern pieces and shapes to work with could be really fun!

Article Updated 02/06/2020