#adidasunderground: Running Things with Crooked Tongues – Day 11

While London celebrated the closing of the 2012 Olympic Games and the reunion of the Spice Girls in a big way last night, #adidasundeground honored the final chapter of their two-week-spanning event series quite in style quite as well. Titled Running Things, the sports brand rejoined forces with frequent collaborators Crooked Tongues to host a night celebrating classic running shoes, the sneaker culture, and good music with some free drinks, assuring things were flowing smoothly. The accompanying audio background was provided by London-based music collective Livin’ Proof who offered an eclectic selection of the best of hip-hop sounds in the past 20 years, ranging from DMX, Warren G, A$AP Rocky and Kendrick Lamar just to name a few. The celebration was a worthy conclusion of #adidasundeground’s ambitiously unique event series that celebrated and honored the close cultural relationships between sports, music, fashion and arts. Mubi Ali and Gary Warnett of Crooked Tongues also had a few things to say about their involvement with the event and the sports brand’s appreciation for creative culture.

How do you evaluate the #adidasunderground event series and its importance for the culture?
When a movement like ours deal with big corporations, it is always of utmost importance to remain opinionated. When we first started years ago and we started to deal with big brands, we had to face situations where big brands were trying to control things too much. However, things have changed and the corporate world has started to understand the necessity to events like this; with Mike and Gary of adidas, they were immensely helpful and pretty much hands-off. They let us do our things and curate this event according to our taste and style, which makes it believable. We never try to force some sort agenda. If we’re not genuinely into it, we would not get involved at all. We are adidas heads, especially from the running side of things. The ZX Torsions 5000, 6000, 9000, and the whole adidas equipment line is one of the greatest collections of footwear ever made. We are not fans of synthesizing legacies. When you look at some product videos, it becomes easily discernible that some of the people who are behind it are not 100% into it.

Where do you see the biggest problem within the culture regarding a more efficient coexistence between the corporate world and the creative sphere?
People treat kids like idiots. They have been force-fed with rubbish. There is an assumption that kids are stupid, but they are the ones [that] know what they are talking about. This has been a problem in every generation. The younger generation can smell if things are authentic or fake from a mile away. And brands have been neglecting their perspective for quite some time. The future is really about letting them do their things. We like to think that we fully understand the brands we are working with and are able to properly represent our brand and them through our collaborations with them. There has to be trust between partners and the confidence. We have also been bright enough not to employ some 1987 music policies in line with the shoes that we are talking about.

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