IDYSM: Hey Stan, thanks for your time. First up, you’re known as an icon of the sports world and of the shoe game, which gives you the most pleasure?
Stan: Well I had a lot more to do with my performance in my tennis career than I did with the shoe, but it’s been fun to see the shoe do so well!
IDYSM: Over the year’s what’s changed more and why; the sport of tennis, or the shoe industry?
Stan: I’m not an expert in the shoe industry, although I do know a bit about it. But certainly the tennis industry has changed dramatically with the type of racquets they’re playing with and therefore changing the style of play. It’s amazing how much shoes have evolved too. And how many different types of shoes there are, with the materials, styles and that sort of thing. That makes my shoe kind of interesting – it’s stuck around throughout these evolutionary things.
IDYSM: Marketing has played a huge part in the sports and shoe industries with both changing considerably in the past few decades. Do you feel your role, being behind one of the first signature shoes helped pave the way for this?
Stan: I don’t know, that’s a good question…Whether my name really helped, or exposure with the shoes has helped that much; or whether it’s been the fact that the shoe itself has kind of taken up all sorts of identification for different people.
IDYSM: At its inception the shoe was a state of the art tennis shoe, how do you feel about it crossing over to become a piece of timeless lifestyle product?
Stan: Well it’s great to see how the shoe industry has evolved, and tennis in particular. The great shoes now have all sorts of bells and whistles. My shoes are pretty simple, even though they were hi-tech at the time. It’s amazing to see what’s actually transpired with that shoe and the fact that it really is a lifestyle shoe now. More people are wearing lifestyle shoes than tennis shoes, in fact tennis is a very minute part of my shoe identification.
IDYSM: The hype around the 2014 Stan Smith relaunch has been immense, how does that make you feel as not many shoes can generate such interest with so many different types of people?
Stan: It’s amazing to see the number of different people that have gravitated towards the shoe and that they think it’s cool. I think that’s what I’ve seen out of all this promotion – the shoe is thought of as being kind of cool for a lot of different people. Not just older people or younger people, I just think that it covers a big expanse of different people from different ages.
IDYSM: Your name first adorned the shoe in 1972, did you ever imagine you would be here 42 years later with that same shoe generating huge international appeal? Let’s face it, it’s a shoe icon.
Stan: The simple answer is no. We thought it might be a four or five year relationship with adidas and the shoe, but we extended it again, and then extended it again, and then pretty soon it got to be pretty much a staple. Then we took it off the market a couple of years ago. But now, they’re back and this relaunch has been truly exciting.
IDYSM: All signs suggest this year will be a huge year for adidas, any plans to team up with adidas new boy Kanye West?, maybe get him on the tennis court?
Stan: (Laughs) There have been a lot of people who have been involved in the shoe, that would be interesting. The most interesting one has been Giselle, but, she looks better in the shoe than most.
IDYSM: I always like to end my interviews with this question…what’s on your feet right now?
Stan: The one and only…
A big thanks to adidas and Torstar Communications for making this happen, and of course Mr Stan Smith himself – the smile won’t be wiped off my face for quite some time!
The shoe is out in various guises now around the world – check it out now and treat yourself to some Stan in 2014!