A few years ago, Adidas fell behind. Big time. It was losing the sneaker wars to not just Nike, but Under Armor, too. But Adidas turned things around. Perhaps most importantly of all, it embraced American design, and signed artists like Pharrell Williams and Kanye West to give the German brand a radical infusion of culture.
As part of this strategy, this spring Adidas opened Brooklyn Farm: a top secret design studio–founded by talent poached from Nike–that develops products that won’t be seen for two years. We got an exclusive first video tour inside the lab, a place that’s about “connecting with young creators, startups, students, and influencers,” Adidas global creative director Paul Gaudio told me months ago. “It is about getting out of our ivory towers and being on the ground, living and breathing culture and creativity.”