New Classics

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This spring singer Pharrell Williams offered up the first new lifestyle tennis sneaker from Adidas—the Tennis Hu—in quite some time. Now he’s updating the look for late summer and borrowing inspiration from the company’s storied Stan Smith franchise.

Launched originally in 1971 as a performance shoe and relaunched in 2014 as a lifestyle design, the Stan Smith branches well beyond tennis and serves as one of the key sneaker icons the world over. Pharrell’s brand-new Tennis Hu came on the scene this past May with introductory colorways that gave nods to the original green of the Stan Smith and the yellow made famous by the 1970s Adidas Forest Hill sneaker.

Pharrell’s first-ever signature model, the Hu—short for human, a key mantra for the musician’s creations—combines the clean profile of a classic court shoe with the design proportions of a runner. The breathable mesh upper adds comfort. In addition to the initial colorways, the new Tennis Hu Pastel Pack, launched on Aug. 10, includes tactile rose, icey blue and linen green, complemented by a white version.

Since Adidas says the Tennis Hu takes “design codes” from the Stan Smith it’s only fitting that this new release times with a color update for the iconic shoe. The Stan Smith line features the same single tone-on-tone coloring, but with full-grain leather. The signature white version includes “pops” of color.

Both the Tennis Hu ($110) and Stan Smith ($90) models are currently available on the Adidas website, and at select retailers. As Pharrell’s success at creating a new classic tennis lifestyle aesthetic continues to grow, whether or not the Stan Smith follows along, expect to see more Tennis Hu colorways as we head into fall.

Tim Newcomb covers sneakers for Tennis Magazine and Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb. 

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