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19 juin 2019

The Transformation of Sportswear into a Global Fashion Business: the Case of Adidas

The Transformation of Sportswear into a Global Fashion Business: the Case of Adidas 04 JuilletJuil 2019 12:00 - 13:30Université Paris-Dauphine


Workshop Culture(s) de Mode

The Transformation of Sportswear into a Global Fashion Business: the Case of Adidas


Ben Wubs (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Adidas’ expansion towards the fashion industry is part of a larger development of the global fashion market in which low and high fashion meet and street fashion became an important driver of the global fashion system. This paper will explore the dialectics between supply and demand, in other words how sportswear became fashion through the street and Adidas’ active marketing strategy in this transformation process. High fashion is often synonymous with ‘real’ fashion, while low fashion is commonly seen as apparel, confection or, nowadays, fast fashion. Our paper links these different forms of fashion, and explores the connections between them, from the catwalk to street style and vice versa. The following questions will be addressed: When and how did Adidas become part of the global fashion business? Adidas went from sports shoes to sportswear to apparel and accessories and finally to fashion. When and how did this happen? Was it a top down marketing decision or a spontaneous bottom-up demand driven process? And last, what was the role of intermediaries in this transformation process?

Ben Wubs is a Professor International Business History at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and an appointed Project Professor at the Graduate School of Economics Kyoto University. He is engaged in various research projects related to multinationals, business systems, transnational economic regions, and the transnational fashion industry. Wubs is council member of the European Business History Association. He is Programme Director of an Erasmus Mundus master GLOCAL (Global Markets and Local Creativities), set-up by University of Glasgow, University of Göttingen, University of Barcelona, and Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Université Dauphine/PSL DRM

Place du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny, 75016 Paris


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