Benji Blunt x adidas Superstar 80s “PoQee”
- MODEL: ADIDAS SUPERSTAR 80S
- CUSTOMIZED BY: BENJI BLUNT
- DESIGNED BY: Benji Blunt
- MADE IN: UNITED KINGDOM
- MADE ON: --/12
Benji’s back with an expansion of his custom sneaker creations, branching this time past the shoe box into the realm of vinyl figures. Now before you go nuts pondering the possible setup of a Blunt basement factory it’s worth a note that he’s not yet building toys himself (though we wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen in time) but instead hand painting them to match his elaborate trainer makeups.
This time the sleepless UK artisan aligns his love of the three stripes with someone who is beyond an addictive collector or simple connoisseur. Pokey literally lives in adidas, with rumors of a whole room being built in tribute to the trefoil within his British abode. From his start with sneakers (Superstars in particular) Pokey moved through the rarest of shell toes towards royal blue accessories of all shapes and sizes. A brand loyalist to the end, he’s continued to show his love even as his trainer collection has diminished over the years – quality over quantity, as we all know – to be solely comprised of Superstar 80s these days.
Beyond that Pokey loves himself some collectible toys as well, so this collab couldn’t be any more suitable. Describing these shoes (and their accompanying accessories) is just ridiculous, as the level of detail and obvious amount of work that went into them is outlandish (besides the matching Qee toy they come with interchangeable tongues, glow in the dark features, extra laces wrapped in special packaging, a custom production tag, and a handmade box as well). Instead trying to prose our way through this pair, we crammed both Pokey and Mr. Blunt into our eatmoreshoes lounge for a sit down on the topic of these sicko Superstar 80s.
We already know Benji Blunt by now, but Pokey, you’re a new face around here, can you take a moment to introduce yourself?
Yeah, sure, my name’s Adam, aka Pokey, or as Benji has re-branded me, PoQee. I’m an adidas collector from a hip hop and breaking dance background from the North of England.
Why adidas mate?
Good question. Many reasons really, but I guess it’s down to the dance and breakdance background. The bboys and crews who taught me always wore adidas from head to toe which was definitely an influence on me as a kid, and I just wanted to be like them. I did sway to other labels, but I blame youth for that mistake with the swoosh, and soon enough went back to adidas and took up the three-striped and trefoil worship again.
And what’s the deal with Superstars in general?
Just nothing better in my opinion. The history, it’s routes and connections with hip-hop. I can appreciate other adidas models but I’m a purist and don’t wear anything but Superstars, although I’ve dabbled with various Superstar models, such as the 35th Collection, vintage, skates, and more. Ever since adidas started to release the 80s model that’s become my favourite and makes up my collection these days.
Benji Blunt: The shell. It’s the shell. A love or hate thing design-wise I guess, but most creatively minded people appreciate them I think, especially on a vintage or 80s silhouette. I always thought the shell was supposed to reflect the seams on a basketball, something Chris Severn dreamed up. I grew up with the Hip Hop imagery of it, the graf and LP covers. The unique design lends itself to graphic interpretation.
Aha, can definitely see where your passions collide. So how’d you two hook up to plan this extensive collab?
PoQee: Again it’s a familiar story; via SuperstarDB. I’d seen Benji around the forum and various members getting customs done and I’d pretty much been blown away by his skills and how each custom he’s done just seems to go up another level. So I bided by time and hoped he’d agree to create a custom Superstar 80s for me.
BB: Yup, PoQee contacted me with the idea of combining two of his obsessions. As it was something I hadn’t done I was immediately interested.
Once you knew you were gonna do a job together, how’d the process start, what was the idea flow like?
PQ: I’ve had the idea for some time regarding a Qee Superstar custom, so the ideas were there just ready to be realized. After that it was just a case of Benji experimenting and saying what was possible and what wasn’t, and of course he had a lot of his own input and ideas too. I wanted to push it as far as I could without being a total pain, so ultimately I gave Benji free reign with no time limit to do his work and experiment both for his own benefit and learning process for future customs, as well as for this custom.
BB: In the beginning PoQee sent me images of colour combinations and we talked about how the Qee could be represented. Similar shoe collabs had been done by adidas and customs too. So it was important to represent the Qee on the upper but to add something different too. PoQee came up with the Qee tongue idea and we discussed how feasible it was. Ultimately I decided to remake the tongue so the ears could sit above the laces, this in turn led to the interchangeable tongue elements. I wanted the shoe to have a selection of more ‘modest’ tongues.
BB: I liked the idea of the customer customising the custom.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize the shoes are based off your love for vinyl toys Pokey, but is there any hidden significance beneath the surface?
PQ: I don’t know if it’s what you’d call a hidden significance as such, but having searched the best part of eight years for all the adidas and adicolor Qee’s, it’s true to say I’m a massive fan of Raymond Choy, the creator of the Qee and all vinyl figures and toys that have been made in adidas collaborations. Basically this adidas Superstar and Qee collab is my way of paying homage to Raymond Choy with the skills I unfortunately don’t possess to be able to do it all by myself. Luckily I know a certain Benji Blunt!
[all laugh again]
True, he’s an asset for sure. What about the colorway and patterning?
PQ: All Benji, no input from me there.
BB: Hey! You don’t remember those other adi toys with the dark blue colourway you posted on SSDB and the fluorescent orange you asked for?
PQ: I do now. You answered that question fine without my input! Okay, the colourway and pattern was influenced from the 2006 adidas Qee exhibition catalogue and a combination of some of the custom Qee’s the artists from that exhibition came up with. Happy now Benji?
BB: Also the madL toys. Pokes wanted a dark blue colourway like one of those and some orange detail. I think he has a memory problem!
[lots of laughter]
Alright you two, onto the accessories – Qee figure, interchangeable tongues, custom laces – these are all yet another over-the-top addition to your constantly evolving work Benji. Any thoughts on these new parts of your process?
BB: The tongues and laces were important as they offered choice. If you flipped a tongue then you may need to flip the lace to compliment. I actually have offered more than one pair of laces before, and it depends on the job and what colours I can source. I mix all my own paints using a range of colours and other ingredients to help with bond and flexibility, so it can be a chicken and egg scenario with choosing laces. In this case I took delivery of the laces and then mixed the paint to match. The box also contains a handheld UV lamp to charge the GID heel and stripes, it also shows the UV between the Qee’s.
And the box itself, any comments there?
BB: Needed a bigger box to accommodate both elements. If I had more time I would consider really going to town on the boxes, but in reality it’s the shoes you’re expecting me to put my efforts into.
Of course. And now, the ultimate question Pokey: are you wearing these or stuffing ‘em into a glass case for display purposes only?
PQ: Well the Qee will take pride of place with all my other adidas Qee vinyl figures and toys. As for wearing the Superstars, oh yes, damn right I’ll wear ‘em, but of course only on those rare, dry, summer days we sometimes get. So, once a year if I’m lucky!
BB: I wouldn’t go clubbing in them no matter how tempting it would be see the glow in the dark.
No doubt Benji, though we’re sure you made ‘em as sturdy as can be. Guys, seriously, big thanks for coming down to our cozy trainer room and sharing these absolutely stunning Supes with us. It’s been a pleasure PoQee, please keep us updated on your adidas room (if and when it’s coming out), and Benji, until next time chap, don’t get too high on the paint fumes.
written by Dylan Cromwell
photography by errol
shoes contributed by Pokey