The Adidas strip of the Russian National Football Team is iconic, evoking memories of the 1980s Olympic uniform, the Gopnik, and the history of violent masculinity in Russia. Gosha Rubchinskiy’s Adidas collaboration with the brand feels nostalgic and brings to mind the youth and the innocence of the past. The three stripes remind us that owning these trainers didn’t always mean ultimate happiness, despite their appeal to youth.
Tracksuits became a sign of ultimate chic in the early 80s
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Adidas tracksuits quickly became an icon in Russian society. While once a symbol of soviet chic,’ they were soon worn as everyday trousers, in business meetings, and at the Olympics. In the 1980s, Russian bosses even wore tracksuits to business meetings. Now, however, tracksuits are a national symbol, as they are synonymous with Russian sport and culture.
The popularity of tracksuits spread to the UK music scene. British rock bands wore tracksuits as a symbol of their working-class backgrounds. And when the tracksuits were introduced to Europe, they became a defining feature of the underground rave scene. They became popular amongst the gabber kids in Amsterdam and the jungle scene in London. While tracksuits were not a part of the Russian revolution, they became an icon of ’80s fashion in Russia.
Despite their athletic origins, tracksuits have become a fashion staple, reaching into the realm of the non-athletic crowd. While the sport of jogging and mountain climbing helped spawn the popularity of tracksuits, they also made their way into the mainstream. This led to the emergence of many high-fashion brands that developed fabrics for mountain climbing and tracksuits.
The popularity of tracksuits in Russia is closely linked to the Soviet period. In the 1980s, the Soviet Union banned Adidas from the country due to alleged propaganda. Since the Soviet Union was closed to the west, they were sold to the poor. These poor people didn’t care about authenticity, as long as they could see the Adidas logo on a cheap, practical garment. Eventually, this became an iconic symbol of Soviet sportswear in the 1990s.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, tracksuits were also popular among prison inmates. Prisons did not have uniforms, and people with gangsta tendencies often wore tracksuits to avoid arousing suspicion. Because the Soviet Union had no uniforms, former athletes were recruited to enforce their gangster ways. Eventually, the tracksuits became the symbol of power and authority in Russian society.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Adidas tracksuits became a symbol of ultimate chic in Russia. These sportswear garments are not only comfortable but can be paired with T-shirts and sneakers to elevate the look. Moreover, these outfits can be worn by women and men of all ages. However, they are most fashionable when paired with designer sneakers and a plain t-shirt.
Women’s clothing also evolved during the 1980s. Among other styles, men’s clothing became more colorful and more fashionable. Popular clothing in the 1980s included spandex sports jerseys and fishnet stockings. They paired this with leg warmers and short, tight Lycra miniskirts. Neon colors became a popular trend, and tracksuits often featured bright neon colors. Blazers are still popular today, but modern versions are much more structured. Stains that have recently become fashionable are taupe, black, or neutral plaid.
Russians wear actual Adidas gear.
Why do Russians wear actual Adidas gear? It’s not just a fashion trend; it’s a tradition that dates back to another era. Many Russians wear this brand as part of their everyday wardrobe, even if the apparel is fake. A famous example is the Gopniks, who wear clothing emblazoned with the Adidas logo on the sides. These gangsters wear these items to show their pride in the sport.
Gopniks wore them before the fall of the USSR. Prisoners weren’t allowed to wear firmer clothing, so the tracksuits lent the Gopniks an air of class and coolness. They also used to wear fake Adidas tracksuits, which they purchased in street markets. Now they’re considered a national symbol. It’s no wonder that the Russians wear actual Adidas gear – even if they’re fake!
The iconic three-stripe Adidas garment evokes images of 1980s Soviet youth clubs, squatting Gopnik, and the violent masculinity of the Soviet Union. This makes Gosha Rubchinskiy’s Adidas collaboration with Burberry a nostalgic trip. While the three-striped gear didn’t always equal happiness, it was a sign of youth, innocence, and historical realism.
The relationship between Adidas and Russia goes back decades. During the Soviet era, Adidas made a big splash over the Eastern side of the Iron Curtain. It was even a symbol of the criminal world in Russia. The creative director of Chanel said that sweatpants were a sign of defeat because they meant the person had lost control of their life. Fortunately, Adidas stepped in to help. It’s still possible to buy authentic Adidas clothing today.
Though Russia hasn’t seen much of the Western world since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Adidas has become an essential part of its material culture. The Russians had been mainly isolated from Western fashion and culture, so everything Western-made was cool, and anything Soviet was uncool. The 1980 Moscow Olympics was the starting point for this obsession. Adidas supplied active apparel for the Soviet team. The Soviet athletes wore Adidas tracksuits.
The Soviet government had a secret agreement with Adidas before the 1980 Olympics. The Soviet government was eager to sponsor the USSR’s Olympic team. Although the Soviet athletes wore inferior quality threads and textiles, the Russian public appreciated the striped uniforms. Adidas was one of the biggest global brands behind the Iron Curtain. It was the first brand to provide apparel for the USSR Olympic team. The Adidas logo has long been emblazoned on many famous Olympic athletes.
Many Russians also wear tracksuits. They owe their love for tracksuits to the 1980s Soviet team. According to social scientist Victor Wachstein, tracksuits and train compartments are part of a socially acceptable subculture. These two parts of the Russian culture are so closely linked that it makes sense that they should be worn together. So, why don’t Russians wear actual Adidas gear? We can’t blame them for being hipsters – they don’t care what people think.
Slavs are drawn to the trademark three stripes.
The Slavs are an ethnic group in the Indo-European language family. Their language has long-term cultural continuity. In the early Middle Ages, they were known as rivals to the Scandinavians, which they called “Vikings” for their reputation for raiding Scandinavian territories. However, Slavs and their trademark three stripes aren’t just a fashion statement – they are symbolic of a shared history.
Slavs love sports, and they are drawn to the three-stripe logo because it evokes the striped football uniforms worn by the Soviet national team. This arrangement with the Soviet government took place before the 1980 Olympics. While Eastern textiles were of poor quality, Soviet athletes competed in Western-made threads. After the Olympics, Adidas became one of the most respected global brands behind the Iron Curtain.
Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Adidas has continued to be a crucial part of Russian aesthetics and ideology. Russia’s youths would dance into the dawn wearing black Adidas garments in the early days of the Adidas sportswear trend. The squatting slav cliche was mocked as the rave crowds favored sporty garments and Adidas’ logo. It has become a symbol of national pride for both Russia and Slavs.
After Skechers’ lawsuit with Adidas, the brand sued a rival shoe company, Marc by Marc Jacobs, for using a striped motif. The designer argued that the striped motif was too similar to the three-stripe mark. However, Skechers filed a countersuit in late 2018 because his Stan Smith lookalike was also confusing.
The European Union General Court has ruled against Adidas’ trademark claim, but Adidas can continue to use its three-stripe design anywhere. However, legal experts believe that the ruling will make it more difficult for the brand to fight its rivals. Nevertheless, Meyer-Dulheuer could not recall a similar case where the trademark rights of an individual company had been violated.