It's with snobby disdain that most opera and classical music fans scorn those rising stars of crossover as sell-outs...arrogant and unfocused brats that crave lucrative paychecks for mic'd-up appearances, hair extensions, veneers, and implants all bronzed-up with Platinum Body Bling. But we can't hate on one unique playa, 25-year-old Chinese pianist Lang Lang, who is crossing-over on a whole new level.
Starting this month, in select Adidas stores where Lang Lang is touring (Dresden, Hamburg, Vienna, Florence, Barcelona, Essen & New York City), you can score a pair of the Adidas/Lang Lang collaboration kicks if you're lucky enough to pry them from lunatic Lang Lang fans and kick enthusiasts. The Lang Lang limited edition sneaker has been manufactured in only 100,000 pairs worldwide, and retails for 85 € ($130 USD).
The black and gold kicks have been modeled on the classic Originals Gazelle prototype (Lang Lang sports them in the photo above). It has been described by Adidas as "highly elegant" and by Lang Lang as, "classy". Design features? His name in Chinese has been imprinted on the heels in conjunction with the silhouette of a pianist in a stereotypical performance pose, and the sock liners have been printed with a gold piano pedal.
Now enjoy a few lines from the classic Run-D.M.C. song, "My Adidas" from 1986, for which Run, D.M.C., and Jam-Master Jay generated so much hype for the German sports apparel manufacturer that it lead to a lucrative product endorsement deal, paving the way Lang Lang.
My Adidas cuts the sand of a foreign land
With mic in hand I cold took command
My Adidas and me, close as can be
We make a mean team, my Adidas and me
We get around together, rhyme forever
And we won't be mad when worn in bad weather
OC was a style junkie at an early age, and weekend sojourns around New York City's Village/SoHo in the '90s turned over mandatory stops at 555 Soul, Stüssy, Otto Tootsie Plohound, Patricia Fields, Phat Farm, and Na-Na. One of the standouts was John Fluevog, a quirky shoe boutique that offered unique styles...a step-up from the clunkybland Doc Martens that plagued the followers of Nirvana & Pearl Jam.
Revisiting the Fluevog site, we found the "Operetta" line, an OC blog appropriate homage. Each sole is inscribed with a treble clef and pentagramma, and are named after famous old skooly opera denizens: Farinelli, the Italian castrato of the 18th century; la Ceci's Maria Malibran, the Rossini mezzo-soprano from 19th century; and Rubini, the 18th century Italian tenor. Pretty sweet, but we'll stick with our delicate Louboutins and our monster Fendi platforms.