ADIDAS ORIGINALS’ LIMITED-EDITION ‘EQT TRAINERS’ DOUBLE AS BERLIN SUBWAY TICKET

A new limited-edition Adidas trainer has been developed in harness with Berlin Transit and is not only made with the same material/pattern as the city’s subway seats, but also double as Berlin transit passes.

The EQT Support 93/Berlin is a design and utility partnership product: developed in an alliance with the city’s public transport system, the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), as a homage to the city and its transport infrastructure.

The trainers feature the classic BVG camouflage style seat graphics on the heel and boast a mock train ticket for a tongue. The trainers don’t just look like the Berlin subway, they are actually subway tickets too (valid for all BVG vehicles/transport modes in tariff zone AB).

Each pair comes complete with a year’s free pass for Berlin’s public transport: valid from the release day 16 January to 31 December 2018.

That’s not a bad benefit given that they retail for £160: a good bargain for a pair of shoes and a year of free urban travel. (That’s €180 of shoe and €700 of transport ticket.)

Apparently riders will need to wear both shoes and not just carry them in a bag or give one to a friend, in order to use the ticket. The catch is that they are a limited edition of just 500 pairs and were only available for sale at the Adidas Originals flagship store (Berlin Mitte, Münzstraße 13-15) and at Overkill (Kreuzberg, Köpenicker Str. 195a) in Berlin.

The sneakerhead queues outside the stores on release day ensured that they sold out sharpish: a collector’s item if ever adidas made one.

“This isn’t a hipster breakfast,” explained Overkill’s Julian Kalitta. “It is typical old-school Berlin – something you can imagine one of the city’s tram drivers eating before work.”

The alliance with the public transport system is part of the BVG’s 90th birthday celebrations and linked rebranding exercise. Which is a city-wide initiative aimed at modernise the BVG’s image: the system, which attracted more than one billion rides in 2017 is ageing and its new rebranding visual camouflage style imagery has also been leveraged into a range of merchandise including baby bibs, swimming shorts and even teapots.

Thus, BVG see the Adidas partnership as part of its project to modernise its image and as a way to encourage younger Berliners to ride on the public transport system.

“The motivation behind the collaboration is really to get young people on to public transport,” says BVG’s Petra Reetz.

“[Initially] I said ‘We are a public transport system, not Michael Jordan’ … But in a big city like Berlin, the quality of life and quality of the air are important. We wanted to tell young people public transport is cool – you don’t need to buy a car.”

The collaboration aims to help reposition the BVG as a core part of the brand of the city itself.

“We Berliners, we are like Londoners – we know we are cool,” says Reetz.

“And now we are very cool because we have our own sneakers.”

Comment 

This isn’t just collector cool, it is also very, very Berlin. It is certainly one of the more unusual sportswear/transit collaborations we’ve come across.

And a useful one to boot (or should that be…to trainer?) And for those who couldn’t wait in the queue for hours or who did but came away empty handed….

adidas

BVG

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