Adidas Adivisionaries With Mr Omori

Adidas was founded in 1948 when Adolf Dassler and his older brother Rudolf decided they could no longer work together. Interestingly, Rudolf went on to later establish Puma and rival Adidas for supremacy in the European sportswear industry. Today, Adidas has grown into the world’s second largest sportswear manufacturer, with revenues totalling over €10 billion a year and employing almost 50,000 people worldwide.

Whilst it is most likely Adidas have access to the best tools in the trade, it doesn’t necessarily mean its employees utilise them. We might think that the realm of trainer design is filled to the brim with fresh young art students perched behind computer screens but sometimes the truth couldn’t be further from the thought. The ‘adivisionaries’ series aims to dismiss this untruth and in parallel celebrate the craftsmen who contribute to their scorecard daily.

This first instalment features Toshiaki Omori who lives and works in Kobe, Japan. Mr Omori’s title is introduced as: shoe master, creator – and the video below explains why.

Designing for half a century, fourteen years of that spent with Adidas, the old hand considers himself a creator above anything else – closer to design than craft. Mr Omori’s job is to create the basic design, and different stages of his process are glimpsed at including full-colour drawings, 3-D paper mock-ups and early material concepts.

All his work is done using his hands as he explains humans have the ability to make precise judgements that cutting machines aren’t sophisticated enough to do, and that functional design is about knowing the material and thinking with an exact mind.

Mr Omori’s state of mind is truly visible in this video. He believes by working twice as hard he can make life easier for his colleagues and make the customer happier and imagines everyday what he will create tomorrow. How true that if you choose a job you love, you will never have to ‘work’ a day in your life.

Looking good isn’t important, it’s everything.

Adidas Adivisionaries With Mr Omori