Singer Pharrell Williams and Adidas have enjoyed a fruitful relationship, one that has strayed into the culture of tennis with Pharrell routinely designing his own custom Stan Smith sneakers. For the singer’s first signature shoe with the German-based brand, he dipped even further into tennis culture with the Tennis Hu, set for release on May 6.
The Hu, a shortening of “human,” a key mantra for Pharrell’s creations, ties directly to two Adidas classics. Pharrell’s white Primeknit uppers come in two introductory color accents. The green detailing pays homage to the original Stan Smith—which was originally only available in green accents—while the yellow lacing, yellow sole and golden heel tab on the Tennis Hu’s second iteration tie directly to the 1970s Adidas Forest Hill sneaker.
The knitted Primeknit upper allows for lightweight breathability that also ranks high on the fashion side of Adidas sneaker design. The Primeknit pairs with a lightweight EVA midsole, complete with a waffle design. The lacing system builds directly into the shoe’s body and the tongue features a suede tab with the Adidas Originals insignia.
The Hu line launched last year with Pharrell’s statement “I play for the human race,” so Adidas says to expect the singer, songwriter and producer to use his experiences traveling as a source of inspiration for future colorways.
Available at retail for $130, the Tennis Hu adds a new tennis-inspired silhouette to an Adidas Originals line already known for the Stan Smith, Rod Laver and Court Vantage.
Tim Newcomb covers sneakers for Tennis Magazine and tennis.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.