Best of AID 2017: 562 - Paul Gaudio: Global Creative Director at Adidas

Featuring an all new introduction with Mark and David breaking down how this episode rose through the ranks to be one of the Best from 2017 (so far).

When you're the Global Creative Director of a brand pushing out twenty thousand products in a year odds are you have your head screwed on pretty straight. Paul Gaudio heads up this role at Adidas and he lets Mark into the Mothership for a look around at what it takes to stay at the forefront of popular culture for decades. From the infamous Shell Toes that started it all to the block spanning lines that form for a brand new pair of Yeezys, there is design, strategy, and unpredictability at every step of the process. Adidas sits at the delicately balanced crossroads of performance, fashion, and price point and it is Paul's job to oversee the brand's vision of why brought to life. The tie cutting, question asking corporate culture inside Adidas will surprise you with its "stay in beta" mentality that keeps them at the forefront of whats next as they poise to take over the largest sportswear market on the planet with Paul at the forefront of it all.

Talking Points

  • Second hand shell toe and proper athletic shoes as an entry point. 
  • The importance of influencers to bring the product out into the light. 
  • Are the kids influencing one another or still listening to high level celebrities?
  • Becoming a student of students. 
  • Vampiric youth and holding onto to not growing up. 
  • Cutting your tie so the boardroom reflects the cultural identity your company defines. 
  • Tangibility in fashion and the "Shoes / Face / Shoes" filtration system. 
  • Credibility, hype, and the risk of pushing things out of the nest. 
  • Be where the consumer is. 
  • The 360 degree, end to end statement as a brand and the team it takes to make that. 
  • Modern advertising that still speaks to consumers and where they live. 
  • Post Super Bowl Ad communication strategies that engage at a deeper level. 
  • Keeping things consumable that hits you right between the eyes and the metrics behind it. 
  • Behind "The Creator Brand."
  • Is your brand asking questions or answering them?
  • Stay in beta and start with why. 
  • Helping people make the difference to stay relative. 
  • The overlap of product design and fashion in athletic footwear. 
  • Get off the shelf, align the approach, and don't close the box for your consumer. 
  • Budgets and structure for over twenty thousand products built to a specific price point. 
  • Embedding designers into the business to impact decisions early on in the process. 
  • Where does the buck start and stop at Adidas?
  • The creation process that mixes some new school and some old school production tactic. 
  • Recommitting to the biggest market in footwear for the biggest return. 
  • But what is digital sports?
  • Leaving Adidas and coming back to it. 
  • Start ups, a motorcycle mechanic, and following your passion. 
  • The opportunity to change or fade away again. 
  • A script for success that starts with culture and behavior. 
  • Making a leap of faith back into what had defined you and constructing the right team that never felt too big. 
  • Pivots, self awareness, and seeing the opportunity. 
  • Do you even understand industrial design?
  • Designing profitability into your product and banking on sheer volume. 

Need to hear more about the transformative capabilities within the world of design? Ashleigh Axios took on her role as Creative Director at the White House (during Obama's Presidency) to completely overhaul how our Government listened to its constituents and more!

When it comes to starting with why look no further than Benny Gold. In his second interview on AID we really get to see the thoughtful and deliberate approach Benny applies to his brand and has made him a lasting force in the streetwear industry because of it.

Amko Leenarts works at Ford as their Top Interior Designer and the process, infrastructure, and timeline of his work is as daunting as anything you heard today. Working years in advance with thousands of vendors Amko controls every detail of what we all learned matters most... the inside.