• Anne Heaney, Director

Adidas and Footlocker are Asking Young Designers to Help Them

Adidas is enlisting some new partners in its ongoing effort to upend the economics of sneaker production with its automated, super-fast "Speedfactories" in the US and Germany.

The athletic brand has teamed up with the sneaker retailer Foot Locker, and together the companies will seek input from consumers at different “cultural events and sport moments” throughout the year to quickly create batches of “consumer-inspired” sneakers.

The companies will bring in select young designers and consumers for “intimate” design sessions to co-create some of the new shoes, an Adidas spokesperson said.

The forthcoming lots of sneakers will be part of Adidas’s AM4 line—as in “Adidas made for”—which have so far been mostly tailored to the specific needs of running communities in various cities. The goal is to let local communities in on the creative process to make “hyperlocal” products.

The project kicks off this month with the AM4ATL (Adidas made for Atlanta) shoes and football cleats, which went on sale Jan. 28 at Adidas and Foot Locker websites, including those of Foot Locker subsidiaries, as well as in select Atlanta-area Foot Locker and Champs Sports stores.

The goal is to make the shoes from the new program available in key markets around the world too, the Adidas spokesperson said. Quantities available for each will vary.

Whether or not customers will be impressed is yet to be determined. For Adidas, though, it’s another step in how the company is using its Speedfactories to shape its business. Now it has Foot Locker on board too.

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