Design Destination

Adidas store celebrates Jozi culture with local design and digital mirrors

Brand’s new flagship store in Sandton City raises the bar in retail design

13 October 2021 - 09:29 By Leana Schoeman
Posters of the natural landscapes to be found in and around Johannesburg hang in the Adidas flagship store in Sandton City. Natural elements like moss and rock samples foraged from nearby green spaces are used as props in store.
Posters of the natural landscapes to be found in and around Johannesburg hang in the Adidas flagship store in Sandton City. Natural elements like moss and rock samples foraged from nearby green spaces are used as props in store.
Image: Supplied

There’s an exciting new retail trend emerging that sees international brands starting to incorporate SA culture into the design of their stores.

The gigantic new Adidas flagship store in Sandton City is the perfect example of this concept: local design collaborations and hyper-local elements have been carefully woven into the interiors, giving the space a unique vibe Jozi urbanites are sure to appreciate.

A backlit cutout of the Joburg skyline forms a focal point behind the tills in the Adidas flagship store in Sandton City.
A backlit cutout of the Joburg skyline forms a focal point behind the tills in the Adidas flagship store in Sandton City.
Image: Supplied

Posters showcasing natural landscapes in and around Joburg abound on the sales floor, and you’ll note a cutout of the city’s skyline provides a backdrop to the paypoints when you head to the hi-tech fitting rooms. 

These are equipped with “Radio Frequency Identification” mirrors to update customers on colour, size and style options in real time. There are also a variety of digital backdrops for changing-room selfies — if that’s your jam.

You could also snap an Instagram-worthy sneaker selfie with the rug grounding the shoe fitting area as a backdrop. Custom-made by award-winning illustrator and designer Lazi Mathebula, it incorporates a version of Adidas’ trefoil logo in its bold and bright geometric design.

“The logo is still intact. It just holds an extended meaning in relation to Joburg, the concrete jungle. I used the signature blue of the Adidas Originals logo and warm colours representing the City of Gold,” he says.

Illustrator and designer Lazi Mathebula with the rug he custom-designed for the Adidas store in Sandton City.
Illustrator and designer Lazi Mathebula with the rug he custom-designed for the Adidas store in Sandton City.
Image: Supplied

The taxi trefoil within the same space is another unique addition. This time the Adidas logo has been reimagined using taxi parts, which have been layered, moulded and sprayed bright blue to create a 1.7m-high artwork.

It hangs behind a vintage cabinet serving as a DJ area complete with mixing decks — possibly my favourite space in the entire store.

The Adidas trefoil logo has been reimagined out of taxi parts to create an artwork to hang in the DJ area of the Sandton City store.
The Adidas trefoil logo has been reimagined out of taxi parts to create an artwork to hang in the DJ area of the Sandton City store.
Image: Supplied

Another oversized artwork — this time a 9x5m mural — forms a strong focal point in the spacious children’s section.

It was created by Cape Town-based illustrator Russell Abrahams, who was responsible for The Impossible is Nothing mural at the FNB Stadium Towers, and is complemented by furniture upholstered in his textile designs.

A colourful mural by Russell Abrahams forms the backdrop for the children's section in the Adidas store at Sandton City.
A colourful mural by Russell Abrahams forms the backdrop for the children's section in the Adidas store at Sandton City.
Image: Supplied

Interior designer Mia Senekal’s Full Moon couch in a luxurious black leather is another local touch point.

It takes pride of place in a quiet nook that is the perfect place to try on footwear or relax after you have worked your way through Adidas’ extensive collection of apparel and footwear — this includes one-off, ready-to-buy graphic prints that are the result of their regular collaborations with local influencers and creators .

Mia Senekal's Full Moon couch in the Adidas store in Sandton City.
Mia Senekal's Full Moon couch in the Adidas store in Sandton City.
Image: Supplied
The Maker's Lab for footwear and apparel customisation.
The Maker's Lab for footwear and apparel customisation.
Image: Supplied

If you fancy creating your own limited-edition fashion item, head to the Maker’s Lab, an in-store customisation hub where you can let your inner artist run free and personalise your Adidas merch. 

This concept proved to be too much for me. Being a faint-hearted perfectionist with insecurities about my creative abilities, I was a little overwhelmed when invited to draw on a new pair of shiny white Forum sneakers. 

That said, to keep these sneakers in pristine condition I’ll be sure to take advantage of the in-store concierge service: using an online booking service you can sign up to have your Adidas sneakers cleaned at no cost.

Adidas’ flagship store (Shop U317) is located on the Upper Level of Sandton City in Sandton.


subscribe