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Johannes Leonardo leans on its Adidas Originals history to help design sneaker book

Ad agency Johannes Leonardo has teamed up with an acclaimed shoe historian to release a book on the world’s best sneaker collaborations. 

Sylvia Gruber, along with creative direction from ECD Ferdinando Verderi, leant their imagination for the cover and design of Collab: Sneakers x Culture.

The features partnerships from big brands like Adidas, Converse, Nike, Puma, Reebok, Vans, selected by Elizabeth Semmelhack, creative director and senior curator at Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum.

Ferdinando Verderi, ECD of Johannes Leonado and creative director of Vogue Italia, said: "Our long standing relationship with adidas Originals and Nick Galway has given us invaluable insight into the heart of the sneaker collaborations community. 

"Partnering with Rizzoli and with shoe historian and museum curator Elizabeth Semmerlack has been a precious opportunity to further our research and to deepen our knowledge on this industry, this time from a very different angle, the editorial and academic perspective."

Nearly eighty collaborations are featured, including Jeff Staple, Virgil Abloh, KAWS, Pharrell Williams, Rihanna, Melody Ehsani, Takashi Murakami, Salehe Bembury, Bun B, Bobbito Garcia, Jeremy Scott, Union, Eminem, Chanel, Stella McCartney, Missy Elliott, Dr. Woo, Rick Owens, and Fear of God.

Semmelhack has conducted interviews with many collaborators, including extensive Q&As about the creative process with Chris Hill, design manager of fashion/collabs/statement footwear at Reebok, and Nic Galway, senior vice president of global design at Adidas.

The author said: "Johannes Leonardo was the perfect choice for Collab: Sneakers x Culture . Ferdi's work with his team is driven by collaboration and this commitment coupled with his deep understanding of sneakers resulted in a design that was not only fresh and bold but also enabled each of the stories in the book to breath and be understood."