adidas collaborates with Naledi Modupi, Kasi Flavour and Falko to launch Samba
Archive Collective, one of SA’s premier experiential culture and streetwear destinations, is set to launch the latest art-driven collaboration from adidas this week. Centered around the adidas Samba, which is back in the zeitgeist both locally and internationally. Talented local artists Falko One, Kabelo Kungwane, and Naledi Modupi have each worked on crafting their own distinctive take on a reimagined version of the adidas Samba OG.
More than a sneaker, the Samba was first released in 1950 and it holds the title for adidas’ second most popular shoe of all time. What began as a soccer shoe evolved into an iconic piece of streetwear that has stayed relevant for over 70 years. Part of why adidas has sold over 35 millon Sambas, is how the sneaker transcends generations – it’s becomes an exciting symbol of the intersection of culture and creativity at a particular point in time – without losing its storied history. From the days of icons Bob Marley and Freddie Mercury wearing it, to today’s trendsetters A$AP Rocky, Bella Hadid, and Rihanna being snapped in the Samba, it has become part of the story of many generations.
“This partnership with adidas to launch the Samba OG in our space, in collaboration with Falko, Naledi and Kasi Flavour is timely and we couldn’t be more excited to see how it inspires other South African creatives to join the conversation. We see part of driving the culture forward as intentionally creating opportunities for local talent to become of larger global conversations like the one around the Samba,” says Sanele Xolo, brand manager at Archive Collective.
Each artist in this collaboration has a different disciplinary focus that they have drawn on to lead them in crafting their individual take on the Samba OG. Cape Town-born graffiti artist Falko One has made a name for himself painting bold murals of elephants everywhere, from rural towns in South Africa to the streets of London and Mumbai. Whereas Johannesburg native, Naledi Tshegofatso Modupi has solidified her place in the South African art scene with her portraiture works. Led by her cultural heritage, her works are defined by bold colours, continuous lines, and a vibrant celebration of the beauty of womanhood. The featured artists are rounded out with Kabelo Kungwane, born in Alexandra, his work represents the intersection between football, art, and design.
Noxolo Mafu, adidas brand manager, expands on the significance of the collaboration, “it’s about celebrating an iconic piece of adidas history that has been iterated several times, yet still remains a classic. We have chosen three incredibly talented local artists – future icons – to add their own flavour. Falko, Kasi Flavour and Naledi experience are contributing to SA culture through very distinctive lenses and it’s brilliant to add them to the Samba legacy.”