Though made by Adidas, Stan Smiths are a quintessentially French item of footwear.
First worn by French tennis player Robert Haillet in 1965, the shoe didn’t gain widespread recognition until American tennis player Stan Smith became the number one ranked player in the world in 1971. In the 80s and 90s, the shoe broke world records for sales before experiencing a decline in popularity. Adidas re-released the shoe in 2014 with some slight modifications, but the shoe was largely the same: white with a green pad on the back that reads “Stan Smith” under the logo, and a thin tongue with Stan Smith’s sketched portrait and signature, both in green, at the top above the laces.
In France, Stan Smiths are an essential part of a wardrobe. Men, women, and children wear Stan Smiths everywhere. One could hypothesize it’s because the clean, minimalist look of the sneaker aligns with the French’s tendency to wear things that are simple and chic.
To fit in with the French, get yourself a pair of Stan Smiths. As for how to wear them, we’ve got some ideas and inspiration below.