VA x adidas ZX 9000 “aZX”

  • MADE ON: 09/08
  • ART.NO: G01200

VA, an abbreviation typically used to describe the phrase “Various Artists”, is an incredibly fitting collaborative partner for adidas’ aZX series, considering the point of the plentiful, alphabetically-themed running releases were to cherry pick the various designers that created them.

Seriously though, the aZX series was just phenomenal. Not only were the releases incredibly hyped up, super limited, and therefore almost predictably coveted beyond control, they also happened to be expertly designed, making them outlive the hype and become true rarities in adidas’ running archives. In total the collection spanned over ten different ZX models (ZX 90, ZX 300, 450, 500, 600, 700, and 800, and ZX 7000, 8000, and 9000, to be exact) made by twenty two different international partners, and a wildly expensive finale shoe by adidas Originals themselves.

We would go out on a limb to say that putting the vintage legacy of the adidas City Series aside, and of course ignoring the massively groundbreaking effect 2005′s release of the 35th Anniversary Superstar series had on the sneaker scene across the globe, it might be safe to call the Consortium aZX series one of adidas’ most effective and memorable release groupings to date.

And while a majority of the magicians involved were quite well-known around the world already (such as Undefeated, Crooked Tongues, Colette, Patta, Neighborhood, Wood Wood, Goodfoot, Foot Patrol, or HUF, to name just a few) others were smaller or more niche at the time, allowing the release to give them their chance to shine through in classic Trefoil trainer style.

We’d consider VA one of those emerging few, although it technically is umbrella’d by a much more widespread entity who’s been no strange to adidas collaborations over the years: X-Large. Founded in Los Angeles in ’91 – but frequently mistaken for an asian brand due to their overwhelming popularity in Hong Kong – the X-Large brand name built a shop in Harajuku that was supposed to go “back to [the] original sneaker culture concept [of] present[ing] and shar[ing] various labels carefully chosen”. And thus VA (or ‘Various Artists’) was born.

The shoe itself is so hard to come by that we’ve had to go ahead and shoot a well-used, box-less pair for this article, but nonetheless it’s an amazing beast to see up close and personal. Their fit and comfort is like any ZX 9000: fantastic to begin with, and the all-textile body doesn’t it do it any harm, providing even more cushion to each step you take. The VA branding itself is minimal, which is nice, and the colorway is generally subdued, so the neon yellow-green highlights blast through bringing the shoe to life as though it’s been colored in with a highlighter.

There’s not much more to say other than good luck getting a pair. Last time we checked, these (as well as all of the aZX series shoes) were still fetching some pretty hectic numbers in-person at sneaker events as well as online on auction sites, and that is, given that you can even locate a pair in your size at a condition you can accept.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol

shoes contributed by Chris SoleconneXion Leal