Adidas store frozen in time

AdidasA sporting goods store in Argentina that appears frozen in time has become a pilgrimage site for Adidas worshippers.

Store owner Carlos Ruiz opened for business in the Buenos Aires neighbourhood of Mataderos in 1980 and has shoes, racquets, sweatsuits and other sports items dating from as much as 40 years ago.

“The first to find this place were Australians and New Zealanders, who bought almost every soccer jersey in the store, and then people from Canada, Japan and European countries came in,” 75 year old Ruiz said.

During the 2001 financial crisis in Argentina, the licensee manufacturing Adidas products in the country closed, and it was then that Ruiz took a gamble on the three stripe brand and began buying items from other stores going out of business.

Ruiz Deportes became a cult store not just for Adidas fans but also for collectors from around the world.

“If I didn’t have this store, I’d have ended up being a psychologist or a psychiatrist, and with some degree of depression,” Ruiz said, adding that after his wife died he focused on the store and used the business “as therapy”.

Reports about the Ruiz Deportes store reached English collector Gary Aspden, who organised a retrospective exhibition of the famous German sports brand’s products in 2013.

By the following year, Aspden was leading a group of collectors, including Ian Brown, former leader of alternative rock band The Stone Roses, to Mataderos on the western edge of the Argentine capital.

The visitors spent 10 days in Buenos Aires producing a documentary on the store.

The film was screened at the opening of the 2014 Originals x Spezial exhibition in Manchester as part of the Design Manchester International festival, and received 13 million hits on the website.


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