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Adidas launches Xhosa sneakers with Pharrell Williams – but they won’t be sold in SA

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Although the NMD HU Clear Aqua was inspired by the Xhosa culture, it will not be sold in the country.

The new Pharrell Williams x Adidas sneaker. Picture: @hypebeast/Instagram

GLOBAL clothing company Adidas has partnered with US singer Pharrell Williams to release a Xhosa sneaker.

The NMD ( short for Nomad) HU “Clear Aqua” sneaker will drop on Friday, May 14.

Featuring the brand’s trademarked boost material, the sneaker also has the word Uluntu written on the upper part. Uluntu is a Xhosa word that means the human race.

Williams, who has been with the brand since 2014, first released the NMD series as part of his “Human Race” collection in 2016.

Since then, the Pharrell Williams x Adidas collection has expanded into producing apparel consisting of shorts, sweaters, hoodies, and track pants.

The NMD HU Clear Aqua is not the first sneaker to draw inspiration from Africa. In 2018, the singer dropped the “Solar Hu” range. Inspired by the national flags of East Africa countries, the Sola Hu was available in three colourways – combining yellow, red, green, orange, white, black and cyan.

Although the NMD HU Clear Aqua was inspired by the Xhosa culture, one of the largest tribes in South Africa, it will not be sold in the country, and South Africans are not happy.

Mxolisi Mac Bhengu said: “The entire concept is wrong if it can’t be purchased in the country where the word originates.”

Adidas has not yet stated why the sneaker will not be available in South Africa, yet the inspiration was drawn from the South African native.