mastermind JAPAN x adidas Hardland

  • DESIGNED BY: mastermind JAPAN
  • MADE ON: 05/10
  • ART.NO: U42984

I remember hearing about these before they dropped and hype aside I just loved the simple black and white colorway, outrageously loud iconography, totally bizarre d-ring placements, and of course the introduction of the new model. At the time I thought the Hardland was going to be quite a rare model, but (as it seems adidas likes to do these days) they took the opportunity to collaborate with a design brand and get the model rolling faster on the back of the promotional winds.

Seriously though, when this shoe dropped I had no idea who mastermind JAPAN was or why they were important. I was totally into the shoes just for the shoes; no reselling, no hype beasting, no bullshit, just sneakers. But with a drop in Japan and my ass in Berlin I had a lot to work through.

I called up some folks I know in Tokyo and did my best to get them lined up in sleeping bags outside mastermind JAPAN’s mall spot, but of course they had to fight off the Japanese masses and every other sneakerhead who was out to get a pair. And these other ‘heads were certainly in it for the resale as the mastermind Hardland was fetching high prices on certain online auction sites immediately after the drop (as we could all suspect).

So stories aside, who are mastermind JAPAN? Rising up in Tokyo in ’97, the company ‘specialized in punk-inspired printed t-shirts which were most notable for their outrageously high prices. Not only did they drop shirts, but their label pushed out other products, such as ties, gloves, boots, caps, jeans, and rings. Through all these items the mastermind skull became the centerpiece symbol for their corporate identity.

And the Hardland, what’s become of the model now? Unfortunately, it’s not the most amazingly made of adidas’ high tops and it seems the mastermind JAPAN version was (at least to date) probably the highest quality iteration that we’ve seen. Since that release the model has been spun out in a variety of (sometimes hideous) colorways and materials and generally blanketed itself across the feet of the masses in a swipe quite similar to that of the Top Ten Sleek or other such new-wave models.

Not to hate – ’cause we’re all about love here at eatmoreshoes – but it’s very likely that if you dig the mastermind Hardland that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll dig another version of the Hardland silhouette. So if you didn’t grab a pair with a Japanese friend in a cozy camper back in the day, you’ll have to dig through the digital masses and likely throw down some hefty bucks to recoup your shortsightedness. Good luck, and if you happen upon a pair in a size 42.5 for an affordable price, go ahead and give me a shout!

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol

shoes contributed by Ross MacWaters

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