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Global Creative Director of Adidas Original footwear Till Jagla is like an amalgam of David Beckham, Kanye West, and Steve Jobs. In case you haven’t heard of him, Jagla is the ex-soccer player turned marketing genius behind sneakers concepts like NMD EQT, Iniki, and many others. Made in limited editions of 500 pairs or less, his highly coveted originals, like the “Black Pitch” or the “Firestarter,” can be found online for upwards of $6,000.
Jagla recently revamped Adidas’ customization division, enabling people to use bespoke photo apps like ZX FLUX to “elevate the story” and create their own designs. Last year, 6.5 million users snapped-up custom pairs on the App in just three months. The most in demand design turned out to be a multi-colored camouflage pair based on Berlin’s railway seats. “We couldn’t make them because the fabric is copyrighted, so we requested a meeting with the BVG,” (the Berliner Verkehsbetriebe),” Jagla says. Three months later, Adidas launched a limited edition, specially designed pair of sneakers covered in the camo print featuring a fabric version of a train pass sewn into the tongue of the shoe. Over 1000 people waited in line for days to buy The EQT Support 93 Berlin, which sold out almost instantly.
The entire process, including concept, manufacturing, distribution, and the training of 2,500 railway employees, required less than ten weeks. “It took us 5 minutes to pitch the idea. We want to stay relevant for the younger generation and forge connections between people; the subway connects people through the trains.” Plans are now underway to bring the concept to other cities around the world.