Creative Soccer Culture

adidas Spezial To Celebrate 10 Years With DECADE Exhibition

This year sees the 10-year anniversary of the debut of adidas Spezial, and to celebrate that milestone, a new exhibition called DECADE has been announced, featuring the complete adidas SPZL footwear archive and highlights from the 10 years of apparel collections.

Believe it or not, adidas Spezial has now been part of the zeitgeist for 10 years, with Gary Aspden’s iconic archive-inspired sub-label firmly establishing its premium positioning over that period of time, utilising classic adidas aesthetics to create modern products. And understandably, the anniversary isn’t about to pass without recognition, so as well as the expected footwear and apparel drops for the year, of which we’ve already had the first, there’s also been the announcement of ‘DECADE – 10 Years of SPZL Exhibition’, which is set to take place from Friday 17 – Sunday 26 May in Darwen, Lancashire in aid of local youth homelessness charity Nightsafe. And the SPZL crew certainly have previous for throwing quite the party...

decade 3-min.jpg
spezial 6-min.jpg

Featuring the complete adidas SPZL footwear archive and highlights from the 10 years of apparel collections, this retrospective exhibition will showcase vintage design references, unseen samples, technical drawings, signed footwear and a large selection of rare adidas SPZL artefacts.  

As well as the products in the exhibition, there will also be intimate headline performances from Shaun Ryders Black Grape, with a DJ set from Mani (The Stone Roses) on Friday 17 May and Stereo MC’s on Saturday 18 May at neighbouring venue Level 1.  

decade 4-min.jpg

Blunt Shank - a bespoke Shoemaker, designer and restorer will be hosting a 5 day Education programme working with Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery. On the 22 May, there will be an intimate screening of past adidas Spezial films followed by a Q&A with the curator of the range, Gary Aspden, and SPZL film director, Nick Griffiths (&SON), at the Darwen Library Theatre.  

decade 2-min.jpg

On Friday 24 May a special release of the new Blackburn SPZL (DECADE pack) X Nightsafe edition shoe will launch exclusively at the exhibition raising funds for Nightsafe. Limited to only 100 pairs, the trainer features a unique red leather swing tag and Nightsafe branded sock liner. This limited-edition shoe is part of the new DECADE pack, a celebratory drop that features four updated bring backs from the adidas SPZL archive. Further information on that will be announced soon.  

spezial 8-min.jpg

As well as all that, a new adidas SPZL DECADE book has been announced and teased by Gary Aspden, which will launch at the exhibition. This collector’s item showcases the full adidas SPZL footwear archive alongside detailed product descriptions, photography and quotes from SPZL's friends and family including Liam Gallagher, Vicky McClure, Ashley Walters, Noel Gallagher, Stephen Graham and more.

spezial 2-min.jpg

Sign up for further info and ticket opportunities at

Select photography by Jody Hartley & Paul Husband.

Daniel Jones

The Creative Soccer Culture Brief

Sign up to our newsletter and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the world of Creative Soccer Culture.