Huge queues of sneaker heads flocked to Berlin store Overkill this week to get their hands on a limited edition pair adidas of trainers that also doubled up as an annual ticket for the city’s transport system. The shoes, which have the ticket sewn into the tongue, were released on Tuesday morning and people queued overnight in an attempt to buy one of the just 500 pairs that were made.
The project came about as part of a marketing initiative by Jung von Matt for Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), the city’s public transport company. “We know young Berliners hate the public transport in their city,” Jung von Matt’s Creative Director/Art Marielle Heiss told LBB. “Even when they are forced to use it, some of them don't buy a ticket. But they spend money for shoes and fashion. So we knew that if we get the respect from the coolest brand adidas for our idea, we will get the respect from the Berliners too.”
The style of shoe chosen for the campaign was the adidas EQT Support 93, a shoe that has history in Berlin due to its popularity amongst east Germans after the fall of the Berlin wall. They incorporate the same colour patterns that is found on the city’s subway seats and were priced at €180 (a standard annual ticket usually costs €730). Despite this, Marielle is surprised at the reaction the story has garnered, having been featured in multiple mainstream news outlets around the world. “I think we expected queues but not this!” she mused.
The project, from initial conversation with adidas to launch, was about six months - not a great deal of time at all when compared with a standard timeline of designing and releasing a shoe. Marielle says: “The shoe design went through some discussion rounds, of course, but we needed to decide quickly.”