Adidas Spezial

Earlier this year, Gary Aspden, a London-based Adidas brand consultant, received an email tip-off about a store in a suburb of Buenos Aires, which was apparently frozen in time. Photos of the shop’s interior showed row upon row of Adidas light blue boxes.

Around the same time, Aspden was curating an exhibition of what could be described as a “greatest hits” of Adidas footwear. Much of the exhibition is sourced from his personal collection of more than 800 pairs. Carlos Ruiz, who has owned the shop for 34 years, movingly explains that the shop is a form of therapy for him to combat loneliness. He conserved items because he knew it was "a noble product that was going to last".

Rare pieces from Ruiz’s store were exhibited alongside hundreds of other specimens in the SPEZIAL Exhibition x “An incomplete Adidas history from a fan’s perspective” as part of Design Manchester 14. These are the very specimens that were on display.

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