Adidas Originals ‘reinterpreted’ by local artists at Saudi Design Week

From Oct. 6 to 9, Saudi Design Week transformed the luxurious Al-Faisaliah resort in Riyadh into the region’s epicenter for design and creativity. However, this year adidas Originals had a significant space showcasing the work of locally and regionally recognized Saudi artists.
In the third edition of Saudi Arabia’s premier design fair, Saudi Design Week 2016 presented a much larger platform for established and emerging designers both local and international to converge. This year’s program consisted of a series of creative workshops, design conference, special events and installations aimed at proliferating a solid design hub in the region.
For this unique creative collaboration, adidas partnered with skilled Saudi artists Talal AlZeid, Turki AlRomaih, Noura Bouzo, Majed Al-Bahiti, Basmah Felemban and an international graffiti artist from UK Steffi Bow. Each of the selected artists were handed two of the adidas Originals’ most iconic silhouettes — the Superstar and Stan Smith — to be reinterpreted as art installations and to re-engineer them in their own distinctive styles using graffiti, calligraphy and mixed media to bring the shoes to life.
Commenting on his participation in Saudi Design Week and his partnership with adidas, Talal AlZeid, a regular name and participant in Saudi Design Weeks praised the efforts put to holding such an event in Saudi Arabia. “Saudi Design Week offers a unique platform for creative people from different backgrounds to meet, network and share their views on art,” AlZeid said.
Commenting on this year’s participation and collaboration with adidas on his design, AlZeid said: “My work this year comes from a long time love for adidas. It was an exciting opportunity and project to work on as I have been a fan of adidas for so long. This year’s art space reflects the use of new mediums and elements that in nature are essential to today’s modern life.”
Noura Bouzo, Winner of the 2015 Saudi Arabia Female Artists of the Year and Co. and founder of Oasis magazine, chose to focus on illuminated manuscripts for her participation in this year’s Saudi Design Week. This year Noura collaborated with adidas to reflect on her art piece titled “Illumination”.
According to Noura, “Saudi Design Week is a great opportunity for designers, artists and creative professionals to share their experience, expertise and thoughts in the Saudi arts scene. adidas is an iconic brand and its interest in local artists and the Saudi art scene is encouraging.”
Majed Al-Bahiti is a tinkerer, explorer, art enthusiast and another local artist who partnered with adidas for his art piece in this year’s SDW. Al-Bahiti said: “My art piece is an inspiration that revolves around technology, time, money, relationships, and habits that are all considered as barriers toward achieving one’s dreams. Sometimes you just need to step forward; no matter how hard and ‘stuck’ it might feel. We have so many distractions in our lives that take us away from living. So many excuses that hinder us from moving forward toward our goals. This reminds me of that awful feeling when you step on discarded chewing gum and the endless effort to take it off of your shoe.”
Turki AlRomaih, a renowned Saudi painter and street artist, and a regular name at the Saudi Design Week event, said: “Saudi Design Week is a networking platform that allows designers to showcase sneak peeks of projects they’re working on, as well as a space where they can share their opinions and criticism on the art pieces displayed before going public.”
Commenting on his adidas art piece, AlRomaih said: “Art is a method of communication which transfers ideas and emotions from the artist to the audience using their imagination and skill. It was a personal challenge to try creating something aesthetically pleasing while maintaining the shoe’s design and uniqueness.”
Turki was also featured in a live painting at the VIP opening night using the adidas originals logo and his artistic touch to add a personalized creative spin on the iconic brand.
Moving beyond an appreciation for good aesthetics, the 2016 theme of Saudi Design Week explores the concept of Illumination, both literally and figuratively. Saudi Design Week serves as a crux for designers, institutions and commercial platforms to intersect and champion the importance of design in the local and global sphere today.
In 2016, adidas Originals introduced a new dimension to its design philosophy: the future. As a brand defined by its own creative courage, and by its unique point of view on creating the future by re-inventing the past, adidas Originals is inspiring a new generation not to follow but to challenge the status quo of the future itself. The brand’s installation at Saudi Design Week 2016 is an interpretation of the 2016 “Future” campaign. Inspired by illumination and urban, industrial environments, the installation also marks adidas Originals’ debut at Saudi Design Week.