Amid the launch of the Adidas Originals campaign for summer 2009 and the House party celebrating 60 years of Adidas during Milan Fashion Week, Sportswear International caught up with Adidas Sport Style CMO Hermann Deininger.

Why did you choose to celebrate 60 years of Soles & Stripes in Milan?

Milan is one of the fashion capitals of the world and Milan Fashion Week is an ideal platform to launch the new summer collection and the summer campaign for 2009 called “Celebrate Originality.” Additionally we have two great Italian collaborations with Diesel and Vespa, so it was an easy decision to go to Milan.

Please tell us about the new collaboration with Vespa.

One segment within the Adidas Originals collection is the part of driving/mobility and we have already with Goodyear and Porsche an ongoing successful collaboration. So we thought, ‘Who is the original authentic scooter brand?’ That’s Vespa and they have the same values. For now the range includes only men’s sneakers, but we have planned to extend the line with fashion and with pieces for women, too. All of our partnerships are usually longtime collaborations; look at the ones with Goodyear, Porsche and Missy Elliott.

What else is new in the Adidas Originals collection?

2009 is an important year for us. It also sees a fully merchandised integrated women’s collection with apparel and accessories. And Paris Fashion Week will debut another highlight with Originals by Originals, where three designers – Jeremy Scott, Alyasha and Kazuki – have interpreted their idea of Adidas Originals. You see, Adidas has a wide spectrum covering sportswear, high competition gear, fashion and lifestyle collection and Adidas Originals fulfills the lifestyle part. As does the Y-3 by Yohji Yamamoto line which is always shown during New York Fashion Week.

Adidas Originals is opening double-digit numbers of stores worldwide. Where are your emerging markets?

The biggest and fastest growing markets are also for us China, Russia, some other countries in Asia and Latin America.

What’s Adidas's key to success?

We always have been innovative and a very honest brand, being committed to what we are doing, whether it is sportswear or fashion over the last 60 years. We are the real thing and do not just think about products, but give inspiration to the consumer. There is no other brand with such a broad and diverse heritage.

—Michaela Schmidinger