Two-Tone Hender Scheme

The Japanese brand teams up with Adidas Originals once again 


Adidas Originals X Hender Scheme

By Shu Xie

The Japanese label Hender Scheme is so synonymous with single-tone vachetta-tan leather uppers of their take on classic sneakers that when this appeared, it took me by surprise. Their latest collaboration with Adidas Originals is a Boost-sole-bolstered iteration of the ZX, a running shoe that was first released in 1984, and is enjoying a bit of revival when Adidas announced early this month that they will offer a circa-1989 version, the ZX 4000, come December.

As with everything Hender Scheme does, premium is the mantra. But this time, in this version, the upper composes of both the said tan leather and a black mesh fabric that is, in fact, rather typical of the ZX. The bi-coloured effect is striking in its simplicity, even retro-vibe, especially when what is now considered cool is colour-blocked to death. Perhaps this is what Hender Scheme’s Ryo Kashiwazaki meant when he said that he “wanted to give more of a true sports feeling” to the shoe. In fact, this version, prefixed HS, is the most track-and-field-like of the Hender Scheme output with Adidas Originals, as far as I can remember. The effect also affects the price: since it is not a full-leather shoe, it is actually more affordable than the typical Hender Scheme kicks.

It will be interesting to see how, after long use, the aged leather—which will turn darker—pairs with the black. I think the contrast as you now see will be diminished. What I find especially appealing are the white, zig-zag, top stitches on the serrated-edge three stripes. There’s a dressmaking aspect to this, a detail that only matters to those for whom such small touches bring mysterious joy.

I have been always been intrigued by Hender Scheme and Adidas’s collaboration. It’s like Adidas doing couture. Okay, I exaggerate, but you know what I mean. The artisanal hand of Mr Kashiwazaki is unmistakable, and Adidas sneakers that shouldn’t be this beautiful are given a near-bespoke treatment that draws the eyes. Simply put, I like.

The Adidas Originals X Hender Scheme HS ZX500 RM (pictured, but also in white and tan), SGD340, is available at Club 21. Photo: Adidas Originals