The Undefeated Ape

Words by Sam Arojo

When three giants of streetwear clash heads one of two things should be expected. 1. hype, hype and more hype or 2, and thankfully in this case greatness. You already know who Adidas are, A Bathing Ape have been pushing boundaries with their vivid colour palettes and idiosyncratic designs since the 90’s and the baby of the trio Undefeated have gone from humble LA boutique to a well respected brand recognised worldwide.

The three last came together in 2013 for the two beautiful ZX 5000 and Campus models and are reunited for two pairs of very meaningful Superstar 80s. The concept behind the shoe was to capture the Mexican-American influenced street culture of Los Angeles and its youth. To do so Undefeated recruited artists Mister Cartoon and Nathan Cabrera to design a collection of clothing for which the shoes were derived from. The collection features paisley print motifs, 8-balls, spider webs and praying hands amongst other staples of the city’s gang culture aesthetic.

Design wise, it’s all about the detail. Many collabs fall short for having little substance or for being under-styled but these feature just enough influence from all three parties to make this a hit. The Superstar 80 is a classic, not much needs to be said about the three stripe brand’s most recognisable pair. Bape adds its signature camo print in splashes as not to take anything away from the silhouette on the tongue, sockliner, heel tab and three stripes that adorn the shoe’s instep. Completed by Undefeated’s and Bape’s logos embossed in gold on the outside of the left heel and right heel respectively.

It’s amazing that the subtle differences really set these apart from previous Bape and Undefeated collaborations with the Adidas Superstar, just when you thought the three were running out of ideas. An effort that breathes life into a pair that recently celebrated its 45th birthday, the collab is an incredible representation of the all the things Adidas are doing right nowadays and just as importantly the city’s renowned culture.

The UNDFTD x BAPE x Adidas Consortium Superstar 80s releases online and from the Undefeated store on April 11th.

images via Solebox

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