Moving forward with our interviews, we talk to another ZX lover – Alexandre from SneakersMOB. In his second interview for Kickstory, he talks about his first encounter with the ZX model, his favorite colorways and collabs, and also what draws his attention to this day in this line by adidas that’s almost 40 years old.
This project is a partnership between SneakersBR with the support of adidas, to talk about a family of sneakers that 36 years after its first release, is still to this day one of the most iconic adidas series. The ZX line has gone through many different moments in history, from different types of runners to different types of music scenes. This year a new silhouette has been added to the line – the adidas ZX 2k Boost.
Here we are again! In our interview last year in August, we talked a lot about the creation of SneakersMOB. But now we want to know, what has changed in SneakersMOB a little over a year later?
AlêHere we are again and a lot has changed! (laughs). Today I have an IGTV channel, I have a podcast with the guys – Na Fila do Drop (In Line for the Drop) – which, dude… is a project that I’m very proud to be doing right now. And new upcoming projects, which are taking up so much of my time, but there is a lot of good stuff coming up. Since our last interview, SneakersMOB has gained proportion, the people who were following me have added many others, and they understood the idea behind the page. They understood that we are there to send a message about how cool sneakers can be, how informative, how dense the world of sneakers can be, and how important references are.
Sometimes we won’t talk about a release, but rather about something that inspired something that might be on a release you’re seeing now. So our idea is to make timeless content – much like what you guys do, to showcase people, showcase the interviews, showcase stories that twenty years from now, you’ll read and it’ll still be very pertinent, it’ll be a thing that inspired a moment in time and that will continue to inspire a moment. So we grew a lot, I had to grow a lot because more people started following, more projects arrived, which was very nice – and a lot more responsibilities too.
“The first one I had the opportunity of buying was the ZX 8000 Consortium, which arrived at the beginning of the year here in Brazil. I was very focused on getting these sneakers, because I had two in mind that I liked a lot when I saw: the ZX 8000 Aqua which is the classic, and the Hydra, the ZX 9000.”
You are participating in the ZXpedia campaign with SneakersBr and adidas, and had the opportunity to receive the adidas ZX 2K Boost that we photographed here today. The iconic ZX family was born 36 years ago and to this day are still very relevant silhouettes. What do you like most about the ZX family, and what does it represent to you?
AlêI have the habit of always going to stores because I like the physical space. So I can discover other sneakers, see other models, hold them in my hand, and understand what’s in them, what it can deliver to you. I think this is the experience that everyone who likes sneakers should have. And in one of these trips, I saw a release back in 2013, the adidas ZX Flux, which was a model that interested me a lot, because I’ve always liked these sock-like models, with a slick upper, you know? I really liked those sneakers, and then searching for information in the adidas Archive I learned that it was part of a very old adidas lineage, with several models, and that they were also part of the Spezial series, which are very interesting shoes and that we actually get a lot of releases here in Brazil.
But the thousand series, bro… The thousands series are the ones that I looked at and said: ” Damn!” Because I really like Retro-Runners, I really like their aesthetics. The first one I had the opportunity of buying was the ZX 8000 Consortium, which arrived at the beginning of the year here in Brazil. I was very focused on getting these sneakers, because I had two in mind that I liked a lot when I saw: the ZX 8000 Aqua which is the classic, and the Hydra, the ZX 9000.
When the 30th anniversary happened last year, I was already following along. There was a delay in the releases of the anniversary series, the guys in Germany were already apologizing, they were having schedule issues, but they were going to release it anyway. I waited for the sneakers to arrive in Brazil, knowing that the release was being delayed. But to my surprise, instead of relaunching the retro, they launched a model that was added to the series. When the series was interrupted back in 1989, they didn’t go back to the retro aesthetic, they just launched the ZX with Boost, the one with bounce cells, the Flux, but Bro, those who like retro, wanted to see a sneaker with a real retro look, not that modern retro. Then they launched the 10,000 C – I went crazy for those sneakers, I looked and said “bro, they made something that really honored the beginning of the family. However, the OG was only released abroad, we didn’t get them here.
I have connections with some guys in Germany who are crazy about ZXs, and I met a guy from adidas Connection, he got two OGs and then he got another one – so he had three pairs in total! He said that one pair was for wearing and the other two were backups, that’s how crazy he was about them. And I said, “bro, you don’t need this sneaker. Give it to me!”. He wears the same size as me… Dude… I spent about six months nagging this guy, until one day he needed to let go of some pairs to buy other sneakers, then he finally sold them to me and it was almost at the resale price, pure camaraderie. And I was also very interested in the ZX book, but it sold out very fast. Until today I’m still searching for one.
“And I think that for those who like ZX, there’s no leaving out a model from the first A-ZX, released in 2008, 2009, a limited edition that paid tribute to the creators of the family – Jacques Chassaing and Markus Thaler – which is a blue and yellow model that had their picture one on each sneaker’s tongue.”
And what would be your favorite ZX? It can be either a pair you already have or a pair you still want to own.
AlêI think my favorite is the ZX8000 you know, the Acqua. I have no relation with its history, back in its origin, the history around Germany, and all that color craziness they were adding in sneakers at that time. But what they did regarding product delivery, that speaks to me a lot. And the most special thing for me was the Consortium version, dude. The aged version – if you put them side by side with an actual sneaker from 89, you’ll see it has the same characteristics, like the greenish EVA sole, that opaque proporty of the nubuck leather. It’s amazing, bro. They really fucking paid attention to the sneakers’ delivery.
One sneaker that I really, really want is the ZX Torsion with Packer, which is that lilac one inspired by flowers and stuff. I think it’s very beautiful, the color contrast turned out very nice and the ZX Torsion is a very dope model. And I think that for those who like ZX, there’s no leaving out a model from the first A-ZX, released in 2008, 2009, a limited edition that paid tribute to the creators of the family – Jacques Chassaing and Markus Thaler – which is a blue and yellow model that had their picture one on each sneaker’s tongue. Man, that is one pair of sneakers I’d definitely like to have. If I had it, I’d put it in an aquarium, something to just leave there… Like a “Thank you” to them, you know?
“What I liked the most about this deadHYPE sneaker is that it’s clean, it doesn’t have an Originals tag on the tongue, they took the stripes off the sides, took the inscriptions from the OG of ZX 8000 that is embroidered on the side, kept it and added the DH. The guys had a lot of freedom.”
The “A-ZX SERIES” has 26 ZX releases: from A to Z. Each letter is a release and each release of the A-ZX SERIES is a different collab that brings ZX references from the adidas archives. So far, which ZX have you enjoyed the most?
AlêA-ZX for me is one of the most beautiful collaborative series, not only nowadays, but back in 2008 when they made the first one, which brought together several stores, creators, and designers from all over the world. There were several different ideas, concepts, and they gave each one this freedom, they said: “pick a silhouette and make something cool”. And then, that person makes something unique, that has a whole special delivery to it, really crazy, in a short period of time. Also, it’s a very energized series, it’s seven months of product delivery.
I really dig this year’s edition, having a tea company from China, collaboration with LEGO, having a graffiti and tagging crew like Irak, having a music production company that connects artists around the world – the name itself says it, deadHYPE – they want to take small ideas to big people, unlike what most brands do with getting big names and hyping on top, you know? You have to give chance to the small producers.
What I liked the most about this deadHYPE sneaker is that it’s clean, it doesn’t have an Originals tag on the tongue, they took the stripes off the sides, took the inscriptions from the OG of ZX 8000 that is embroidered on the side, kept it and added the DH. The guys had a lot of freedom. Because like, “bro you’re taking off my stripes?”, “I am”, like “you’re going to change, you’re going to put the inscription of your acronym next to an inscription that is a historical record of the classic model?”, “Yes!”, “Awesome, go for it!”. So I think it was bold, in a color that was very dope. For me, it’s the best ZX of A-ZX so far, while the Lego and Atmos aren’t out.
And they haven’t even released half of the series. What good things do you think we can expect?
alêI’m risking some things, from the acronyms they haven’t launched yet that they haven’t given any hint. For Y, for example, I think it’ll be Yohji Yamamoto. But if there is a Yeezy I’ll freak out (laughs). The letter P, which appears as PP, I think they’ll call Philipp Plein to collaborate – because he’s a German artist and he has some very nice ideas. I like this Gothic look he puts on his clothes. And there’s BU, right dude, from Bape and Undefeated, which is sure to come back. And this one… this one will be crazy.
“I think adidas has made the ZX 2K Boost a version of the future you know, of what it would like to see, and what it proposes for new sneakers enthusiasts, within the ZX line.”
Even though the 2K Boost is not a performance sneaker, do you think it still carries ZX DNA? Even though it’s inspired by 710, you can look at it and say – this sneaker is a ZX?
AlêI think adidas has made the ZX 2K Boost a version of the future you know, of what it would like to see, and what it proposes for new sneakers enthusiasts, within the ZX line. I really appreciated their insight of renewing the silhouette without changing the classics, I think they have this idea of respect for the classics, but at the same time, new silhouette proposals, and ideas that reach a new generation, and reach people who like comfort and lifestyle, and take it seriously in their daily lives. So I liked it a lot and I liked the interactions they had, adding 4D sole 4D, adding the Flux – because as I said, the Flux is a silhouette that I like a lot, it initiated me into the ZX family. So I think it’s really fucking cool.
Do you have a cool story to tell about one of your ZX?
AlêThere was this time when I talked to SneakersBR. One random day I was recording a video about ZX, and then I sent them an idea that I had. I’m really into anime, I’m a big fan of the idea of cyberpunk, the color palettes – the identity of cyberpunk itself. And I’m a big fan of Akira, which for me is one of the great works that has ever been made, he has a very incredible story about the conception of color, with colors created especially for anime, the comic is very detailed and stuff.
One day I was looking at the covers of the comic books, and I realized that they had the same tones as some ZXs of that same time. And Markus Thaler, who is the creator of the ZX series together with Jacques Chassaing, was very passionate about engines, motorcycles, and he created the ZX line inspired by Kawasaki Ninja. He was very connected to Japan at that time and everything that came from there. And in 88 or 89 the Akira movie was released. I don’t know if that was one of the inspirations, because a lot of ZXs come from New Wave…those vibrant colors, neon. But there’s no denying that he was really connected to the Orient. And we know how much Akira influenced the West. And I think it did influence him. If you look at the animes’ covers, and then look at the ZX 8000 Hydra, ZX 5000, and the whole series of thousands, from 5000 to 9000, it’s all in the Akira cover, individually.
adidas ZK 2K Boost
Owner: Alexandre Félix (SneakersMOB)
Size: US 9.5
Photos: Julio Nery
Video: Gustavo Barcellos