Adidas Consortium x Shelflife ZX 4000
  • The sneaker giant Adidas has created a new top-end sneaker with the South African retail group Shelflife.
  • It is the first collaboration of its kind between Adidas and an African company.
  • Adidas Consortium x Shelflife ZX 4000 shoe has been created with South African leather, and has a jacquard-printed panel.

Adidas has worked with a South African company to create a unique new sneaker.

The collaboration with the local premium sneaker group Shelflife is the first of its kind on the African continent.

The Adidas Consortium x Shelflife ZX 4000 shoe is an update of an Adidas sneaker that was originally released in 1989. The new design includes South African leather and wood.

Adidas Consortium x Shelflife ZX 4000
Adidas Consortium x Shelflife ZX 4000

Shelflife has been working behind the scenes with Adidas Consortium on this collaboration for more than one year, and they produced six prototypes before everyone was happy.

“It’s been a really long and tough journey to get it right,” said Shelflife founder Nick Hebert. Shelflife is a premium, high-end sneaker and streetwear brand in South Africa, with stores in Johannesburg and Cape Town

Shelflife decided to introduce local fabrics and processes to the sneaker design that until now hadn’t been used. This resulted in the final product taking longer to produce than expected.

According to the release notes, the sneakers have an “understated use of luxurious greyscale nubuck (a cattle leather)” when viewed straight-on from the outside. Woven fabric underlays serve as a homage to South Africa’s “historic craftsmanship”.

Adidas Consortium x Shelflife ZX 4000
Adidas Consortium x Shelflife ZX 4000

"On foot and in action however, the medial side of the shoe is revealed, showcasing a colourful, jacquard-printed panel.”

“We were lucky enough to use locally-inspired materials, including wovens, prints and wood,” said Herbert. “Which is a first for adidas Consortium”. Adidas consortium is a part of the sneaker brand which works with a network of top-end shops across the world, These shops get exclusive access to the most unique adidas sneakers.

It’s expected to retail new for R2,499, and will be on sale later this month.

Adidas Consortium x Shelflife ZX 4000

The new South African-collaboration sneakers will sell at 80 exclusive sneaker boutiques in the US, Europe and the UK. It will also be on sale at Shelflife in South Africa. Shelflife is part of the adidas Consortium network.

“Think of the Adidas brand like a pyramid,” said Herbert. “Adidas Consortium sits at the very top.”

“Consortium is the first to bring old models from the archives, work with fashion doors and influential global icons within the street wear communities, and set the bar for what’s to come down the line in the future, through their Originals programme, which has a wider distribution network.”

According to Herbert, the collaboration is an African-first, and a massive pat on the back for the local industry.

“It’s a serious honour to be the first on the African continent to represent,” said Herbert.

As ZX 4000 sneakers will only be available in only 80 Adidas Consortium stores, access to the shoes will be limited. Herbert expects that this will drive up them up from the R2,499 retail price when they eventually reach the resale market.

In 2010, Shelf Life released a "colab sneaker" with New Balance, who distributed 4,400 pairs globally. “At the time they retailed at R1,400, but the sneakers have since quadrupled in price,” said Herbert.

All of the campaign marketing material for the shoe were also shot and styled by local creatives, Paul Ward and Gabrielle Kannemeyer, in South Africa.

For more, go to Business Insider South Africa.

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