adidas ZX 8000 “Jacques Chassaing & Markus Thaler”
- MODEL: ADIDAS ZX 8000
- SERIES: ADIDAS AZX SERIES
- TYPE: RUNNING
- DESIGNED BY: JACQUES CHASSAING / MARKUS THALER
- MADE IN: VIETNAM
- MADE ON: 07/08
- ART.NO: G01232
- FACTORY: SHW 675001
Much like the 35th Anniversary did wonderful things for the Superstar, one could argue that the aZX series similarly boosted the already glamorous adidas ZX family.
The idea was simple. A to Z. Or rather, A to ZX. Allowing various collaborative partners to work on the ZX family silhouettes. Twenty two collaborative partners to be exact. And the results were intense, amazing, gorgeous, beyond lush, incredibly limited, and by all means heavily coveted even still today. The amount of heat that grew from the aZX series is enough to fill multiple articles and we won’t try to suffice this fire’s appetite for fresh oxygen in a single thread here.
What I would like to do is focus on the grand finale, a pair of ZX 8000, that was meant to cap the entire collection and bring it around full circle. As you can imagine, these are incredibly rare. But I don’t know if people out there realize just how rare they are. Supposedly produced in only a single (sample) size, the pairs were made in an exact number of twenty two, one to be given to each participating collaborative member of the aZX series, and to do with it as they pleased. Obviously over time some of the pairs have leaked and found their way to the reseller market.
That’s where (maybe) shocking numbers come into play. A good friend of eatmoreshoes, an avid UK-based sneaker collector by the name of Ross MacWaters, put down £1600 on this pair. Let’s write that out: one thousand six hundred British pounds. On a single pair. And here’s the catch: they aren’t even his size.
Before folks go ballistic it’s important to dig into the story a bit deeper here. Who are Jacques Chassaing and Markus Thaler and why do their faces appear on a pair of brightly colored running trainers in a larger than average box command such a large sum of cash?
Both of them have been onboard with adidas since the 1970s, Jacques designing and Markus literally hand-developing the wares alongside Adi Dassler himself. They’ve continued to take part in the company to this day and are largely responsible for the ZX family together. This is why their faces and names are so important, and presenting them to the collaborators on this project as a final, super limited ‘thank you’ gesture couldn’t be a better fit.
But the shoes were just the beginning of the story, as the box itself is dressed to the nines, containing the shoes on top with a special drawer below that pulls out to reveal the separate components.
There’s more, actually, when peering at the ‘made in Vietnam’ label one can be entirely misled. Sure, it’s true that the separate shoe components were manufactured offshore, but once they shipped to Germany they were actually constructed, by hand, by Markus Thaler himself (along with his assistants) in adidas’ Herzo headquarters. And the construction itself is by no means simplistic even though the design appears to be as sheer and sleek as possible; Jacques explains:
“The big problem is, in a running shoe, you should be able to wear the shoe barefoot. That means comfort has to be a maximum thing. If you look at the original shoe, you have all the pieces like overlays. That means you see rough edges and you see stitchings. That construction is like it was in ’89, a more regular convention construction. Doing this new ZX 8000 with a ‘stitch and turn’ technique gives you more luxury, because you don’t see those rough edges, you don’t see the stitching. It’s nice, I would say it’s smooth, more clean, but keeping the same design without keeping the thickness of the material you see on the older shoe.”
Markus discovered modifications to the build that required a bit more ’rounding’ in order to apply the fancier ‘stitch and turn’ method. Beyond these adjustments, the classic ‘lemon’ and ‘aqua’ colorway was reversed to provide a unique twist on these classic runners. For such a beautiful piece, the problem is going to be getting yours hands on (and feet into) a pair, especially if you’re not a UK 8.5.
written by Dylan Cromwell
photography by errol
shoes contributed by Ross MacWaters