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Stan Smith portrait | Zegna Defining Moments

Stanley Roger "Stan" Smith is a former world No. 1 American tennis player and two-time Grand Slam singles champion. His name is also used in a popular brand of tennis shoes.

— My Defining Moment?

In May 1971 I met Horst Dassler son of Adi Dassler, founder of Adidas, in a Parisian night club at 11pm. A strange time and place for our first business meeting. In 1965 Adidas had created the first leather tennis shoe and French player Robert Haillet's name was on the shoe. They wanted to get a stronger presence in the US market and I was the #1 US player as well as the #1 in the world at the time. Adidas put my photo on the tongue of the shoe in 1972 and later my name on the heel of the shoe as well. It was the best high tech performance shoe on the market but over the years it evolved into a fashion shoe, and I miraculously transitioned into a fashion icon. Today most people think Stan Smith is a shoe!!


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