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Founded in Germany in 1949, adidas has been a leader in footwear excellence for its entire existence. Established by Adolf Dassler, the company got its big break when Dassler became the first to sponsor an African American—Jesse Owens—in the 1936 Olympics, where Owens won four gold medals wearing Dassler's shoes. From then on, adidas were a favorite among some of the world's most famous sportsmen. While adidas wear has a sports connotation, it has been a fashion ideal since its beginning and has morphed into a street style statement.