What comes after "Samba" and "Gazelle"? The Adidas "SL 72"
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What comes after "Samba" and "Gazelle"? The Adidas "SL 72"

Translation: machine translated

The "Samba" has ruled the fashion world for almost three years. High time to pass on the sceptre. There is already a promising contender - and he even comes from the same family.

"Gazelle" here, "Special" there, "Samba" everywhere - Adidas models with a slim silhouette and retro charm have been drowning out everything else the sneaker world has to offer for several seasons now. But if you pay close attention, you can hear a new hype shoe waiting in the wings: the Adidas "SL 72".

Released on the occasion of the 1972 Olympic Games

Like the other omnipresent kicks from Adidas, the "SL 72" belongs to the so-called T-Toe family, which features the letter T on the toe cap. It is just as delicate, athletic and retro as its siblings. The design is familiar yet novel enough to attract interest.

The Adidas
The Adidas

The shoe was revealed to the world for the first time around half a century ago in a catalogue for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Its super-lightweight (hence the acronym SL), nimble design was intended to appeal to track and field athletes in particular. Adidas historian Sandra Trapp told Esquire that the model was nonetheless primarily a shoe for the street and everyday life.

Boost thanks to eye-catching colours and celebrity fans

Adidas will have foreseen that the "Samba" boom would sooner or later lead to weariness - a fate that will probably soon also befall the "Gazelle" and "Spezial". There are some indications that the "SL 72" will fill the foreseeable power vacuum. Since the end of last year, the German sporting goods manufacturer has been pushing the sneaker with campaigns and releases in eye-catching colourways. The fact that uber-trendsetters such as Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and Suki Waterhouse were recently photographed wearing them gives the seventies trainers a further boost in popularity.

The Adidas
The Adidas

Someone who recognised the potential much earlier is Grace Wales Bonner. In 2020, when the "SL 72" was still niche, the British-Jamaican designer launched two colourways as part of her Adidas Originals by Wales Bonner product line. You can rely on her flair for trends. With her ultra-popular "Samba" designs, such as the leopard print pony hair model, she has made a significant contribution to the shoe's fame.

Two different variants available

If you're looking for a slim trainers with a vintage look, it's worth considering the "SL 72". The fact that it is currently on the rise offers several advantages: First and foremost, the sneaker is more readily available than other hyped models that are constantly on sale. What's more, it is still at the beginning of the trend cycle. In other words, it will be a while before the world has had enough of them.

Nylon, suede and smooth leather - a beautiful mix of materials.
Nylon, suede and smooth leather - a beautiful mix of materials.
Source: Stephanie Vinzens

Currently, the variants "OG" and "RS" are available. The former stands for "original", the latter for "reshaped". Both are characterised by a nylon and suede upper and smooth leather logo stripes. The "SL 72 RS" has a thicker midsole and therefore a slightly more solid, somewhat more modern look.

Unfortunately, the shoe has not yet made it into our range - but this is likely to change soon given its increasing popularity.

Header image: Stephanie Vinzens

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Has endless love for shoulder pads, Stratocasters and sashimi, but a limited tolerance for bad impressions of her Eastern Swiss dialect.


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