Viktor Tell x adidas Matchplay

  • DESIGNED BY: Viktor Tell
  • MADE ON: --/12
  • ART.NO: G61744

On first glance the adidas Matchplay by Viktor Tell is probably the most calmed design of the entire lot – with the exception of the adidas BC – but in truth it hides its hype on the inside as though it were an excited child sitting patiently disguised in adult’s clothing. Viktor is quoted to have said that he merely wanted to create a wearable shoe with some fun thrown at it, though we think his aesthetic choices go one step further.

Being the founder and owner of a colorful and eccentric company called Happy Socks, Viktor pays a lot of attention to the brighter side of life. For those of us who just throw on a white or black pair every morning, it may come as a mystery why there is such a demand for colorful clothing that isn’t even seen so often (such as the sock). And this is exactly Viktor’s goal; creating fashionable – yet wearable – products that people feel the need to show off.

Because of his work it’s no surprise that Viktor focused a lot of his attention on the sockliner, which (much like his socks) is covered in bright colors and creatively loud patterning. As he got deeper into the design process he prepared further inspiration from the Swedish gold-medalist in the air pistol competition: Ragnar Skanåker. Ragnar won the gold for Sweden in the 1972 Munich Olympics during the 50 meter air pistol match for men. Honoring his great aim, Viktor has the side stripes to appear as pellet bullet holes, embroidered onto the canvas upper, and heels displaying his name as well as the words ‘LUFT PISTOL’.

Further detailing can be seen on the insole, bearing the Happy Socks company logo on the right shoe and an adidas target graphic on the left. The shoes come tied up in some flat, soft vintage laces, however they are also sold with green and yellow spares completed with pink and black polka-dotted tips. The last goodie in the all white Consortium series box is – of course – a pair of outrageously colorful Happy Socks.

After checking out the kicks ourselves we sat down with Viktor to get the story straight from him.

Hey Viktor, what are you up to when you’re not designing Olympic kicks for adidas?

I’m the Creative Director at Happy Socks. I design our collections and oversee all the creative work that leaves our office.

You must have an artistic background… how’d you originally get into product design?

I have worked as an illustrator and designer in various fields making everything from CD covers to refrigerator catalogs, and product design is now a fun part of what I do!

Tell us more about Happy Socks, when was it founded?

My friend Mikael and I started Happy Socks almost four years ago because we where tired of what we were doing and wanted to do something that made us happy. And since then we have grown to be twenty people at our office in Stockholm with sales in over fifty countries, and it’s been great fun all the way!

I never would’ve guessed that socks could be such a lucrative and enjoyable business model. Cheers to you and your vision! So why did you pick the Matchplay sneaker?

I liked the simplicity of it, it’s a great summer shoe.

That’s for sure! Can you describe your design process and tell us why you chose these materials and colorway?

Dots, dots, and dots… it was a bit tricky to decide on what to do at first, as it’s not everyday that I get asked to design a shoe and on top of that to make it Olympic. But fairly early on I figured out that I wanted to make something simple and wearable and add some fun on the inside. I’m also grateful that I could make it into a canvas shoe instead of leather to soften it up.

It certainly came out with a fun and easy personality that matches a lot of adidas Originals releases of late. Lastly, do you see yourself working the three stripes again?

Nothing planned with adidas but we have a busy calendar of great projects and colabs heading your way in the near future!

That’s exciting to hear Viktor, we’ll keep our ears close to the sock drawer. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy – and obviously fun-filled schedule – to join us for this interview. And as for those colorful-footed folks out there you can get your fix over at Happy Socks.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol