Adidas threw a party to welcome back the return of the classic Stan Smith trainer at the Truman Gallery in east London. I say the Truman Gallery, but in fact the party was in a shoe box. A giant Adidas Stan Smith shoebox!
THE PARTY WAS HELD IN A GIANT SHOEBOX FULL OF CELEBS!
The Stan Smith shoe has grown to become the best selling shoe of all time with over 40 million pairs sold. That said, despite its design being so simple, the actual story of the Stan Smith isn’t (look it up).
OLYMPIC ATHLETE JEANETTE KWAKYE LOVES STAN SMITH.
When growing American Tennis icon, Stan Smith, began wearing the world’s first leather tennis shoes in 1971, they actually featured the name of a former French tennis player. After two successful seasons, with victories at both the US Open and Davis Cup events in ‘71 and Wimbledon in ’72, the decision was made to officially re-christen the simple white leather silhouette to the Stan Smith and history was written, though even today, French-made editions remain a grail.
GUESTS WERE ABLE TO STAN SMITH THEMSELVES UP WITH AREALLY COOL IPAD APP!
The adidas Stan Smith shoe is one of the most iconic footwear styles in existence. Frequently voted a classic, since taking a break a few seasons ago its status as a shoe and cult icon has only grown. Uniting streetwear with high-end style, the Stan Smith model is one of the few truly unisex silhouettes out there. There are nuances for the experts, but it’s a shoe for everyone. There’s nothing nicer than a fresh pair out of the box, but they look incredible worn in too.
WRETCH AND JAS BANTER ABOUT WRETCHS UBER SMOOTH GENTS OUTFIT!.
As the accredited Best Selling Shoe of All Time, it’s little surprise that there are imitators, but no one has managed to top the ideal of tennis shoe design.
From high fashion to commercial outlets, imitations of the Stan Smith shoe’s simplicity and design are everywhere, yet no one has managed to top the timeless design to date.
42 years on, the adidas Stan Smith shoe still remains ageless. For all the remixes, restorations, variants, rarities and countries of origin, the Stan Smith shoe is a true Original.
DYNAMO STILL MAKING MAGIC…AT THE STAN SMITH PARTY.
Friends and invitees of Adidas included Idris Elba, Dynamo, Ashley Walters, Wretch32, Kwabs, J2K, Rudimental, Alexis Knox, Asa butterfield, Conor Maynard, Eddie Kadi, Funny tummy, Georgia Lewis Anderson, Princess Belsize dollar, Jacob banks, Jeanette Kwakye, Lucy Rose, Melody maker, Mo Ali, Neptizzle, Georgia Groome, Daley, Jungle and Maverick Sabre.
ASHLEY WALTERS AND HIS WIFE DANIELLE ISAIE PARTY IN CELEBRATION OF STAN SMITH.
JACOB BANKS HAT HAD A FANBASE OF ITS OWN AT THESTAN SMITH PARTY.
The attendees spoke of their love of the classic Stan Smith as well as other topical issues like social media. Is it a platform for good or bad? Our LONDON360 reporters caught up with Idris Elba, star of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, to talk about his experience with social media.
“I’ve seen this pictures or stories of me on social media and I’m like these are so far from the truth and yet you’re getting people commenting like it’s the truth, so there’s the good and the bad, and the bad is like the devil. “Social media is impressive and very important, but the thing about social media though, is it’s not reality. The problem I have with social media is that people forget to talk to people in real life. It’s fine talking on twitter or on a text or on instagram but human contact is the best way to communicate your ideas and that’s what I have a problem with. Ultimately I’m a big fan of social media but I do think that people need to talk to each other more.”
Every star had something to say on the issue of social media, proving why it’s the hot topic of the moment. The Jack Petchey Foundation, Media Trust and The Evening Standard’s London Live are holding a panel debate on 3rd February to give one hundred young Londoners a chance to get their voices heard on issues surrounding digital media – does social media voice to young people or just provoke vanity, violence and vulgarity? The event will be chaired by ITV News presenter Charlene White, and attended by a host of media industry experts.
If you’re an eighties child then action hero’s like sly Stallone, arnie and Bruce Willis were who shaped your former years. They epitomized the American dream, Hollywood alpha males and the dream buff body.
Like most stars of their generation they still hold a mystique. They’re not publicly available and never have been. Can you imagine these a list Gods on twitter putting up selfies and weekly gossip mags flogging their latest desperate attempt at a fragrance?
STALLONE AND JONATHAN ROSS. PHOTO COURTESY Jonathan Darby/PA.
They’re untouchable, mysterious and iconic. So when I was invited to spend ‘’an evening with Sylvester Stallone’’ live on stage at the London palladium, I was transported back to the wild kid, excitedly shadow boxing the family in uncontrollable delirium after watching Rocky on telly.
Our host and guide through Mr. Stallone’s verbal career chat for the night was our own Brit legend and encyclopedia on all things showbiz and movies- Mr. Jonathan Ross.
Jonathan has a unique way of treating his guests with humble respect and ribbing them with the occasional teasing banter. He’s on our side but also on theirs and on this night he brought out a humble, adorable side of a living legend that no one was expecting.
After all that’s what Sylvester is. He’s gone from being the meathead action hero, to one of the last truly a list actors that still invoke an intake of breath on sight.
PHOTO COURTESY Jonathan Darby/PA.
Sylvester is more than just a Hollywood star. He’s a writer, producer and director of almost 90 movies and the only actor in history to open a Number One film across five decades. He’s had long career, from the breakthrough Rocky to his latest blockbuster movie franchise, The Expendables. His impending arrival had a whole street in central London buzzing.
The palladium was clearly sold out buzzing with excitement full of acting fans, boxing fans and a scatter of celebrities that included Boy George all spilling out into the street. A mix of suited black tie wearing VIPs and your regular Joe Smho in jeans and hoodie with the ladies all dressed to the nines. When Jonathan Ross introduced Sylvester to the stage they actually cut to a live camera that was following him from his dressing room to the stage, like his boxer character in Rocky making his way to the ring. This proceeded to make us ecstatically wild and I found myself caught up listening to a female shrieking and screaming along with the rest of the audience. The female was I.
He stepped onstage in a sharp crisp shirt, red hanky in his suit blazer pocket and an extremely sharp well cut perfectly fitted suit. He was yacht tanned and looked strong and well for his 67 years.
Jonathan on the other hand, over a decade younger, rocked a midnight blue velvet blazer and bright blue socks and as much as I love him did look unfit, pasty and punchy alongside Sly.
Jonathan guided him gently, treading carefully through the story of his acting life and Sylvester spoke humbly and movingly about his meager start. It was unbelievable that this guy once lived in a hellhole of poverty before making the big time and his recounting of his experience with fame was inspirational. From the now legendary story of how he was so poor he had to sell his dog (which he then bought back for thousands after getting work), and his inner conflict of taking more serious roles as an actor as opposed to the ones that made him famous, he was mesmerizing to watch and listen to.
Sylvester reminisced about his early acting days and how much he sucked
“I tried for a school play called (Sweeney) Todd goes West. I was horrible. My mouth was crooked I had slurred speech. (He suffered nerve damage when he was born, hence the speech problems you hear), I was told not to bother with acting”
Yet Sylvester has no regrets following his passion for the big screen. ‘’I’m very very proud to have been able to play one character for life. Rambo was my darkest character. Me and De Niro talk about this all the time’’. (He name checks Robert De Niro numerous times is clearly is a fan that holds him in high regard)
“I was failing in California and needed an opportunity to make it. Just give me a chance I begged everyone and I was writing. No one thought I could write. One night I was watching a fight of Ali. So I got this idea of collecting from a loan shark and I wrote a script. I went to an audition and they said I wasn’t right. I then said something that changed my life. On my way out of the door I turned and desperately pleaded, ” I write a bit too”. They said ‘yeah bring us something one day”. And so I went home and grabbed some scripts and was back 10 minutes later’’.
Now that is persistence!
He continued ‘‘in everyone’s live there are three or four crossroads and this was one of mine. So they eventually offered me over 300,000 and I had to go for it. But they put a million clauses in my contract that said they could fire me for being late, being untidy, being rude, if my hair was parted wrong. I did everything right and went for it. ”
Sylvester had the audience roaring with laughter as he reminisced on how badly he reacted to his early fame
‘‘the success affected me. I was horrible. I was an authority on everything. If I could go back I would have punched myself in the face. I was bad!’’.
His arrogance made him write the sequel to Rocky. ‘’I wrote Rocky 2. Everyone on the crew hated my script so bad they all quit. They wanted him to party in the playboy mansion and finally die. I saw him as going on and on. It was a very different early beginning to the film brand that made my name. The original Adrian was a totally different woman, mickey was a racist and a lot of other differences’’.
Sylvester blames Rambo for his perma-tan. ‘’Rambo 3 is the reason; I was so burnt out in the hot sun shooting all day. That’s why I’m permanently red. I’m burnt for life.
I loved that movie. It wasn’t just violence- I showed real atrocities from wars around the world too’’.
We were all roaring with laughter again as he recalled meeting John Travolta shooting the dance classic ‘Staying alive’. ‘’John was trying to eat well. I’d place a plate of fudge on the table. Very soon the fudge was gone. John was dancing and at one point complaining about chaffing. I laughed at him incredulous “You’re chaffing?! In Rocky we were stitching ourselves up in between shoots!”
Expanding on his screen writing Sylvester explained ‘’The hardest thing to me is writing sequels. They’re hard to do if they’re good. I used to be an usher in cinemas though. So I studied films hard. I earned 30 dollars a week as an usher but I learnt how to structure and write a film by watching movies non-stop’’.
Jonathon asked Sly to talk about his movie adversaries ‘‘with my enemies I have to make them twice as creative and as aggressive as Rocky’’. (Jonathon pushed on real life adversaries) “I’m not gonna mention Steven Seagal….the guys that do the same movie where they knock everyone out”. LOL great to know even at his great stage in his career he recalls the competitive beef and throws shade when needed!
‘’With me Bruce and Arnold. We all had our own different way of doing it. Me and Arnold hated each other in a good way. He’s a worthy adversary. We’ve spoken and we both agree that its sensational to have a worthy opponent’’.
His most ambitious project, the action thriller The Expendables, which he wrote, directed and starred in, see’s him hire an all star action cast including Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Eric Roberts, Dolph Lungren and Steve Austin – as well as Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Sly revealed that of all the actors he’s brought together it’s our very own Brit Jason Statham that’s his fave. ‘’When he smiles and jokes around he’s great. He might really make it in this business lol!’’.
Sly is very self aware of his luck with films being made at a certain time and the cutthroat industry. ‘’Raging bull would never have been made today. Studios and Hollywood are different. Today it’s a much cheaper budget, like a million a movie!’’ Revealing he always had a thing to play a fit, butch action hero he added ‘’the most iconic fictional charter for me in my early days was Steve Reeves in the Hercules films. He had the most perfect physical specimen ever and I also loved Kirk Douglas!’’
Stallone revealed he had turned down roles he regretted too in films like Coming home, Witness with Harrison ford. Romancing the stone. But all my failures opened up a door for success’’
In the audience Q&A session Teresa from Cheshire asked an average question. If there were “any actors you still want to work with?” Answer; Sean Penn.
Typically eye-rolling question came from Louise from Swansea. “I’m a lady of a certain age and weight. I can’t lose weight. Would you do a fitness DVD? That would inspire me?
Sly looked speechless and confused before stuttering ‘’I tried it once, I did a book called “sly moves”, it bombed!’’
Its easy to forget that although Stallone has established a worldwide recognition as an actor, he is also a writer and director that’s won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Rocky grew to a franchise of five sequels and in 2006 concluded with Rocky Balboa, a critical and audience success which resolutely confirmed both Stallone and Rocky as iconic cultural symbols. In more recent times, Stallone wrote, directed and starred in Rambo, which continued the saga of Vietnam vet John Rambo 25 years after the debut of Rambo: First Blood.
An evening with Stallone was less than two hours long bit the audience could have listened to him for hours. We were captivated, enlightened and entertained. Even though back In 2002 Stallone was honored by the Video Dealers Software Association when he was presented with the “Action Star of the Millennium Award” and Stallone is only the third person in Hollywood history, after Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles, to receive two Academy Awards nominations for the same film, for Best Original Screenplay & Best Actor, its clear he’s much more than just an actor.
On January 24, he will be seen starring in Grudge Match co-starring with his new best pal Robert DeNiro. “It was great working with Bobby” we laugh a lot together”. I told him ‘I thought you were crap at that scene. I didn’t really believe you”. He replied “I thought u sucked too” lolol
In March, 2014, Rocky the Musical will open at The Winter Garden on Broadway. The musical is based on the original film written by Stallone with music by Stephen Flaherty and Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime).
To end the evening, the London Palladium inducted him live on stage into their newly created Palladium Hall of Fame – a room with panel of photos celebrating the greatest artists to appear on the stage. A photo was taken backstage before the show by Press Association photographer Jonathan Brady, and Stallone will go into the wall panel of American superstars, including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Bob Hope.
Bishu Chakraborty, Managing Director of Really Useful Theatre Group said: “I have never ever seen a Palladium reception like the one Mr Stallone received tonight. The entire theatre were on their feet cheering and screaming as he arrived onstage. It was an unforgettable sound.”
Hollywood Mr Fixit, Rocco Buonvino, who produced the event with his partner Joe Ricotta, said: “Mr Stallone was totally blown away by the reception he received in London tonight. He wasn’t expecting that reception. He was funny, revealing and he even sang a bit! The night was a total triumph. After presenting Al Pacino and now Sylvester Stallone both on stage at the world-famous London Palladium, I have more Hollywood superstars waiting in the wings to get up close and personal with their UK fans. Watch this space!”
As Mr Stallone left the Palladium for a private jet from Luton airport to Los Angeles, his people carrier was chased down the street by over 100 screaming fans. As it reached a red light by Liberty’s, the vehicle was surrounded by a mob who started chanting “Rocky!” “Rocky!” “Rocky!” for several minutes before the light turned green and he could make his getaway.
This was one night Stallone finished smiling, slick suited, smoothly, without breaking a sweat.