Image via Gary Aspden

Gary Aspden's New Adidas Spezial Helping His Hometown

Gary Aspden and Adidas will drop a limited edition Blackburn Spezial as part of their forthcoming Fall/Winter ’19 range that will go towards a great cause.

Gary Aspden and Adidas will drop a limited edition Blackburn Spezial that is the newest addition to the brand’s “City Series”, which is named after his hometown. From a glance it just looks like a plain old shoe, but there are some intricate details like the color scheme “Nightsafe”.

This color is inspired by Lancashire, England’s county flower, the Red Rose of Lancashire.  The upper is a green suede with red leather Three Stripe branding on the side and on the heel,  sitting on a navy blue outsole.

Only 200 pairs are being sold at this time, with all of the proceeds going to the nightsafebwd charity to help prevent youth homelessness in Blackburn.

The adidas Blackburn Spezial will drop exclusively at the adidas Spezial exhibition in Lancashire for £100 (app. $123).  The official release date has not been announced by Aspden and Adidas but stay tuned to Shoeaucracy for future updates.

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adidas Blackburn SPZL from adidas Spezial AW19. Pic courtesy of @robertbrooksy. Robert popped in the office yesterday to talk about the exhibition and asked if he could get a shot of the shoes. When these were originally briefed I was asked to try and create a new shoe that used a similar ideology to the adidas Manchester which I designed with @chetcutimike back in 2001. I pointed out to the team in Herzo that since 2014 I had proposed innumerable city/town/place names for Spezial shoes that had been rejected legally (it’s so difficult these days) so getting the name would be the hardest part. I wanted to use the name Blackburn as the area I grew up in has always been a source of inspiration for what I do (I am actually a Darwener) and it was a name used by adidas for a football boot in the 80s. The Settend SPZL from SS15 actually used the working title of the adidas Blackburn SPZL until we were told by adidas’s Legal team that the name would not clear. As it turned out in 2016 I was introduced to @bwdcouncil through an old friend of @gary_watsongraphicdesign so I contacted them to see if they could help. There began the process of them organising letters of permission from themselves and other relevant parties including the local football club to get the name cleared. Unfortunately it’s not just as easy as sticking names on the side of shoes. For the colourway blue and white seemed the obvious choice but given the amount of adidas trainers (and existing models in the city series) that use those colours it seemed too obvious and would limit the opportunity to give the shoe a distinct identity of its own. In the same way that the adidas Stockholm uses the blue/yellow of the Swedish flag we used the red and green of Lancashire’s red rose. We wanted to create a flat, suede trainer that was exceptional so features like the toebox were crucial. Thanks to all who have made generous comments in the past couple of days. #adidasspezial #blackburn #lancashire #SPZL #britishtextilebiennial #nightsafe

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