“We called it Equipment because the word equipment is sort of a no bullsh*t word. You don’t have a piece of equipment to have fun with. You have a piece of equipment to do something with. ” Peter Moore – Creative Director of the Original EQT
At the end of the 80’s the world was moving on. Out with the glitz and the glam of an era and in with the do it yourself and f*ck everything else attitude of the 90’s. It was the start of the Internet age and connectivity between people and cultures exploded like never before. The Berlin wall came down, ushering in a time of change and progress where two cultures united for the first time in decades.
In 1991 Adidas turned to its history, stripping away anything that was unnecessary to provide everything that is essential and nothing that is not. An idea of building design solely to meet the athletes needs. Performance, protection, comfort, truth and transparency would drive the marketing, not fashion or fads. “No one worries about what a piece of equipment looks like. They want to know how well it works,” Moore says. Rejecting gimmicks and trends, EQT symbolised the best of adidas for every athlete and swiftly went from coveted to collected.
“EQT brought the focus back to meaningful products. That’s what we loved about it; what it meant for the brand, for culture, and that moment in culture.” Nic Galway – VP Global Design, adidas Originals
The 2000’s saw a culture shift and the end of our constant need for more. Empowered by its heritage, Adidas Originals felt the world was ready for another reminder to get back to the essentials. Turbo red was born, infused with neon, designed to stand out in any crowd. The legacy of quality was carried into the now with premium materials, purposeful construction and the Adidas trefoil – marking EQT as one of the iconic Originals
“We don’t want to tell culture how it should be. We just want to make products we believe can be in dialogue with it.” Nic Galway – VP Global Design, Adidas Originals
In 90’s Berlin EQT was being developed, giving us a glimpse of the future. In Johannesburg the first wave of born free South African’s were being born. Some of the country’s most exciting emerging creative talent forms part of this generation – a community of creators that are looking to their past to re-imagine their future. We call them the Born Free Originals. Recognised for creating culture and not for the amount of followers they have. “We felt the juxtaposition of JHB and Berlin was interesting. Overlaying these 90’s kids, or “born free creatives”, and what they stand for and how they’ve grown up, with the “no bullshit” ideology of what Equipment means to Adidas. It’s almost a mantra, a way they live their lives, how they behave and of course how they create,” says Stuart Davies, Head of Style for Adidas South Africa.
Shot by filmmaker and photographer Imraan Christian, who gained international recognition in 2015/16 for his powerful photography documenting the #FeesMustFall student profile movement, the EQT ‘Our Future is Now’ visual content series is set in Johannesburg and features a collection of the city’s new wave of born-free originals. Together we uncover everything that is essential in their lives, nothing that is not.
Cast members include aspiring designer Ketu Malesa, photographer TK Mogotsi, graphic designer Siyabonga Myaka, fashion design students Siphesihle Zondo and Zoliswa Mbadu, blogger and model Mpho Ntlatleng and digital media assistant Nati Kgobe.
EQT drops on 26 January 2017 at adidas Originals stores, adidas.co.za, AREA3 and selected Side Step stores.