I remember talking about this to someone a while ago. We had the same assumption with the influencer marketing campaign. It’s astonishing to see how aggressive it was all strategically planned out.
There are a couple of prongs to it. Wex breaks it down like a spear where the tip is the fashion-forward person and further down are trend adopters and eventually to the mainstream. Part of the reintroduction to the marketplace was actually getting the shoes on the feet of Céline designer Phoebe Philo. Six months later, Adidas introduced personalized Stan Smiths for certain celebs then eventually released the shoe in limited quantities and finally to the mainstream consumer. Philo’s endorsement made the shoe a little more appealing to women and bringing in cool guys like A$AP Rocky to show it off also kept the men interested. Now, it’s again one of the most pervasive sneaker designs you see walking down the street. Somehow, the forced re-introduction worked wonders and Adidas continues to rise.