Before rappers were singing about Louis Vuitton and Courvoisier, or Reebok was partnering with 50 Cent, Run DMC was writing an ode to their shoes. The hip-hop group’s song “My Adidas” garnered a $1.5 million endorsement deal in 1986, and 19 years later, the partnership is still going strong. This time, Adidas sponsored a fund-raiser at Skylight for the Jam Master Jay Foundation for Music, the nonprofit that supports music education in public schools founded by Terri Corley-Mizell, the wife of Jason Mizell (aka Jam Master Jay, Run-DMC’s DJ), who was murdered in Queens in 2002.
The fund-raiser doubled as a promotion for the 35th anniversary of Adidas’ iconic Superstar shoe (the inspiration for the song). Adidas is selling 35 different versions of the shoe in five series, including a music series designed in collaboration with artists including Missy Elliott and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. “When we decided to do an event around the launch of the music series, the foundation was also looking to do a large event around the same time,” said Abby Guyer, Adidas’ head of lifestyle trend marketing, who planned the event. “It was just a really natural partnership because of our long relationship with Run DMC.”
Guyer worked with MSL Productions and Milktwist Productions to create the event, which attracted more than 1,000 guests. Bentley Meeker flooded the room with red light to reflect the red in the foundation’s logo, and fuzzy white lounge seats from RentQuest dotted the room. All 35 models of the shoe were displayed inside Plexiglas cases atop white underlit towers. Shoes from the music series sat upon Scratch DJ Academy’s turntables, and art installations and photography from artists Lee Quinones, Jamel Shabazz, Joe Conzon, and others were displayed for auction.
Guests who paid for $1,000 tickets got a sit-down, Asian-themed, family-style dinner catered by Marcey Brownstein Catering & Events; $500 ticketholders got a buffet dinner; and $250 ticketholders got passed hors d’oeuvres. Performances by DMC, Bone Thugs ‘N’ Harmony, Fat Joe, and Public Enemy (who also performed at Maxim’s music issue party in 2004) followed dinner.
Photo: Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images (Art-1)