Leta Sobierajski: LEGO Superstar
By Alixandra Rutnik on Jul 26, 2021
Young Guns 15 winner designs iconic Adidas Originals Superstar sneaker with LEGO
I grew up surrounded by LEGO. My younger brother was constantly building something new– LEGO set after LEGO set. A Star Wars Spaceship one day. An Indiana Jones Pirate Ship another day. A race car that would occaisonally crash into our playroom wall.
My dad and brother would sit at our dining room table for hours and assemble these intense sets together. Some of his LEGO masterpieces are still on display in his childhood room. I was a Barbie girl all the way, so no LEGO for me.
But graphic artist and Young Guns 15 Winner Leta Sobierajski was playing with buckets of LEGO before their kits were even a thing. So it only makes sense that she was one of six diverse creators asked to collab with LEGO and Adidas to create a one-of-a-kind Adidas Originals Superstar sneaker made from the famous plastic bricks. The OG Superstar model is now available as a set for you to assemble and customize.
As a kid, Leta was constructing gardens and houses from her two giant buckets of LEGO that she would dump out all over the carpet, while simultaneously rocking her Adidas kicks. “LEGO is a gateway into creativity for a lot of children and I’m grateful to revisit it now in my adulthood," she reminisces. "I also grew up wearing Adidas Originals. They were the hot shoe when I was in elementary school all the way up to when I was in highschool. So, it is an absolute privilege to collaborate with two brands that have been prominent for me since childhood.”
"LEGO is a gateway into creativity for a lot of children and I’m grateful to revisit it now in my adulthood."
Leta’s design inspo for this project stemmed from a few areas of her expertise. “A lot of my ideas come from things I’ve done in the past in terms of sculptural work.," she explains. "My husband and I have a studio in New York and we work with a suite of shapes and patterns. This sneaker was an iteration of things we have done in the past. You can do the same thing over and over again, but when you add a new medium it can look like something entirely different.”.
"This sneaker was an iteration of things we have done in the past. You can do the same thing over and over again, but when you add a new medium it can look like something entirely different."
And it took Leta all of one day, one weekend, to realize her goal for this project. Yes, the timeline was tight, but still. “When I received the brief, I was thinking about Jermey Scott’s Adidas shoe that had wings coming off the sneakers. And I wanted to create a similar lift-off feeling with my design. I started with free form drawings, but eventually I had to turn my doodles and scribbles into something more structured to make sure it would conform to LEGO bricks,” she said with a laugh.
This LEGO and Adidas collab is definitely a pop culture moment, even though Leta claims she has never been super attuned to it. “Growing up I didn't have cable television or internet until later on, so I’ve always been slow to catch up to pop culture. Because of this, I tend to take my inspiration from other places like travel, art, galleries, architecture, fashion, and every day experiences,” she elaborated.
Whether Leta’s Adidas are taking her through the streets of New York City or around ten different countries, she is no doubt collecting visuals for her work. When I asked her about what’s next, she replied, “We’re always working a million miles a minute on a hundred different things at once, but keep you eyes peeled for an installation that will be popping up in Miami in the next couple months.”
"We’re always working a million miles a minute on a hundred different things at once, but keep you eyes peeled for an installation that will be popping up in Miami in the next couple months."
The final deadline to enter the prestigious Young Guns 19 competition is Monday, July 26.