Stan Smith: The Legend Behind One Of The Most Iconic Tennis Sneakers

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NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – Once the number one tennis player in the world, Stan Smith, at 70, is in full swing.

After Smith won the U.S. Open in 1971, Adidas took notice.

The company offered to make his name and likeness the soul of its newest shoe.

In 1972, he won Wimbledon wearing his own Stan Smiths. But there’s no way he could have predicted the cult-like fashion staple the shoe has become.

At the Adidas flag ship store in New York, you can see how the brand has broken its traditional tennis white boundaries.

Here you can have Stan Smiths in metallic, knit and floral patterns.

Citing an oversaturated market, Adidas pulled Stan Smiths from store shelves in 2012.

“It sort of lost its niche, its little momentum,” Smith explained, “and they said, ‘Look we’re going to relaunch it. We’re really committed to it.'”

After a two year hiatus, Adidas brought the shoe back with a younger demographic in mind – 15 to 24 year olds.

“I said, ‘Those are the last people that know who I am.’ And, you know, I thought it was a little bit stupid,” Smith said with a laugh. “Little did I know that their plans were quite creative.”

Since its launch, Adidas has sold more than 50 million Stan Smiths, making it one of the brand’s best-selling sneakers of all time.

“I would say most people that wear my shoe have no idea who I am,” he said.

That was not the case along New York’s fifth avenue, where it took only minutes before we spotted Stan Smith fans from China, Germany and Miami.

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