MANILA, Philippines – October 26, 2016 – adidas and James Harden reimagine the signature shoe game with the debut of Harden Vol. 1. The collection represents the first chapter of the collaborative partnership that began October 1, 2015 with the goal of co-creating footwear and apparel unlike any signature line in sport.
Driven by Harden’s performance needs and embracing his distinctive design insights, Harden Vol. 1 embodies James’ creativity and expressive style on and off the court. adidas continues to reinvent collaboration and Harden Vol. 1 is a bold challenge to the traditional creative process.
“This was my first time creating a shoe from the ground up. With adidas, we wanted to stand for something different, be true to who we are and that’s how we separate ourselves,” Harden said. “This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and all the work we put in together is what makes this genuine. We’re open to each other’s opinions and we weren’t going to just put shoes on the shelves and say ‘This is James Harden.’ It’s built for how I play and you’ll see my style, different moods, the little details and stories that represent who I am.”
Harden added, “People always ask me, ‘How are you different?’ It’s hard to explain how you’re different but the shoe explains it for me.”
Pioneer – the first edition of Harden Vol. 1 – celebrates the championship game performance of a young, beardless No. 13 who scored 22 points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished three assists and recorded two steals on the way to winning his second-straight California state title in high school. The silhouette is designed with a black knit upper, white leather toe shroud and red accents that pay homage to where his journey began. The championship date (March 24, 2007) is featured on the left sockliner with his game stats on the right sockliner
WITHSTAND THE PRESSURE
Full-length BOOST cushioning provides unparalleled energy return, while a premium toe shroud – developed from Harden’s need to guard against defenders stepping on his feet – creates comfort and protection, unstitched design for natural movement and on-court durability.
NEXT LEVEL CONTROL
Advanced generative software analyzed James’ stress patterns on-court and built unique data driven sub-structures, creating a traction pattern specifically tuned for Harden’s disruptive change of pace and stop on a dime gameplay
FIT TO CREATE
Asymmetrical lacing provides adaptive support and removes pressure from the top of the foot for quick cuts and deceptive Eurosteps, while a mix of knit and mesh material executions across various colorways stay true to fine-tuned performance benefits and Harden’s off-court style.
“We begin to think about chapters of our journey with James and this is only Vol. 1,” detailed Brian Foresta, vice president of design, adidas Basketball. “If you have the confidence to wear Harden Vol. 1, step out from the norm and decide to be something new in the game of basketball, then you don't rely on the old recipes. Nor does James and nor do we. I love that he pushed us in that direction.”
Redefining performance apparel, Harden’s signature collection is dressed to sweat without sacrificing his unprecedented style. Cross-functional pieces utilize multidimensional design elements for versatile on and off court transitions, balanced by exaggerated fits and a variety of tonal executions. The collection features breathable protection, secure storage, asymmetric wrapping and layered comfort true to both Harden’s game and basketball DNA.
“Harden Vol. 1 offered us the unique opportunity to reinterpret the traditional view on creating signature product,” added Foresta. “From developing his logo, to translating signature details and color executions, we set out to create something that is striking even at a distance and embodies everything James represents on and off the court.”
The Harden Vol. 1 identity challenges the traditional signature formula and features the Harden Mark, original typography and three stripe executions exclusive to James’ footwear and apparel. A visual expression of the way he disrupts the game, the Harden Mark implements design cues from the circle at center court, while the letter ‘H’ uniquely fuses with the brand’s iconic three stripes.
Signature details are subtly built into Harden Vol. 1 through coded language that ties back to family, including the birthdates of his grandmother (left shoe) and mother (right shoe) molded onto the heel. James’ own signature is also located on the medial side of both shoes on the toe.