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adidas celebrates EQT in Miami
adidas celebrates EQT in MiamiCourtesy of adidas

Pusha T performs on a floating stage for adidas at Art Basel

1,000 pairs of shoes were given out, a chatbot was debuted and King Push put on a show – here’s what happened when adidas took Miami

Every year in the first week of December, the world descends on Miami Beach for Art Basel – but not just in search of paintings to snap up. As well as its infamously wild parties, the fair has become the go-to destination for unique events, music performances and launches, and 2016’s iteration was no different. Last week, adidas came to town to celebrate their EQT sneaker with a program of events that united art, music and culture – and they brought a few familiar faces for the ride. Here’s what went down.


To start the celebration, adidas shared the love – giving away 1000 pairs of ‘Miami’ EQT Support ADV trainers with events across the city. The special, limited edition shoes (which came complete with ‘Art Basel’ branding on the tongue, as well as reflective takes on the trademark parallel stripes down the sides) were up for grabs – literally – in special “grab and go” events. One, hosted at a local high school, saw people pile off a shiny silver school bus in reflective gear, perform a drill-style dance routine and deliver shoes to ecstatic students and members of the public who had queued outside. For those who weren’t there, we captured the action on our @dazedfashion Instagram story. 


With “the best of adidas” as its slogan, the EQT was first introduced to the world in 1990 thanks to designer Peter Moore. Inspired by founder Adi Dassler’s own innovative approach, the performance focussed shoe bucked fussy trends to zero-in on design which actually benefitted the wearer. As Moore said – “No one worries what a piece of equipment looks like. They want to know how well it works.” Although its since been reinvented for a new generation by the archive-inspired adidas Originals, it was the EQT’s foundation in the 90s which provided the inspiration for the Miami celebrations – something which was especially true in the transformation of the venue.


Miami Marine Stadium, located in Key Biscayne south of Miami Beach, provided the location for the main event. With the car park outside filled with 90s sports cars, guests boarded a floating dock set with views of the city lit up in the distance. “Video 90” – a specially-commissioned piece by artist Ben Jones, who has exhibited at MoMA, MOCA and the Tate, and has worked with the likes of M.I.A. and Miley Cyrus – was projected supersized against the stadium. The colourful footage was inspired by iconic 90s era desktop animations and graphics.


On a stage beneath Jones’s impressive projection, adidas debuted the first in their #TLKS series – group panel discussions aimed to bring together different creative minds. As well as Jones himself, model and activist Adwoa Aboah joined the conversation, as did musician and president of G.O.O.D. music Pusha T. Together, the three discussed everything from originality to the 90s (including the Spice Girls, naturally) and the state of American politics. The talk was streamed via Facebook Live, and also saw the launch of the adidas Originals chatbot on Facebook messenger, aimed to create a dialogue between the brand and its fans.

“It was the first time, being a young fan of hip hop music, that I saw a major brand align with artists that I related to, wholeheartedly” – Pusha T on growing up with adidas in the 90s


King Push first collaborated with adidas back in 2014, but the relationship with the brand is longstanding, dating back to his youth in the 90s. “adidas for me has really been staple of cool and a staple of culture for so long,” he explained in the #TLKS discussion. “It was the first time, being a young fan of hip hop music, that I saw a major brand align with artists that I related to, wholeheartedly.” Celebrating his collaborative work with the company, after finishing up the panel he disappeared – only to arrive by boat to a floating stage after a quick outfit change to perform tracks including “Grindin’” and “When the Last Time”, ending the night on a high.