Jon Wexler defines the term Original, or as we like to say around here: ORGNL. A Chicago guy – who was raised on the holy trinity of sneakers, hoops and hip-hop, he now runs the world as the Global Director of Entertainment & Influencer Marketing for adidas. From working with icons like Run-DMC and Jeremy Scott to doing creative campaigns with up-and-coming djs, singers and rappers, Wex (as he is known to his friends) has his hands in everything fun. Between late night red-eyes to and from Germany, where he often meets with his fellow global adidas hierarchy, we caught up with Jon at his home base – the illustrious adidas US headquarters in Portland, Oregon.
“We look for people at the intersection of creativity, individuality, and authenticity.”
From the days of Jesse Owens to Run-DMC and Jeremy Scott, adidas has a deep heritage of supporting people who are pushing the envelope in their respective fields and embody our brand values.
When I’d get in trouble as a kid, my dad would say, “I raised you to be a shepherd, not a sheep”, and I think that philosophy has always influenced my worldview. For me, the excitement is in pioneering something new, being on the forefront of what’s next. No matter what genre (music, design, sports, technology, film, art, business, etc.), innovation has always been a driving force for me.
adidas has always been an inclusive brand. We have a long tradition of aligning with a broad spectrum of innovators from all different walks of life. People who move the culture forward – athletes, musicians, designers, artists, photographers, filmmakers, innovative retailers, events (i.e. The Do-Over), etc. From the early days of Jesse Owens and Muhammad Ali to Bob Marley, Run-D.M.C., Yohji, and Jeremy Scott, adidas has a deep heritage of supporting people who are pushing the envelope in their respective fields and embody our brand values. We look for people at the intersection of creativity, individuality, and authenticity.
I always had a passion for sneaker culture, but it became my obsession when I got my first job here as a product merchandiser for adidas basketball in 2000. I had an entire closet full of sneakers because I worked at my hometown sneaker store and my brother was a prolific high school and college bball player so I had a constant flow of hand-me-downs from him…but I was more a comic book collector growing up.
My team is the reason this is a dream job. They absolutely kill it, and their passion and dedication inspire me to work harder every day. In terms of the job itself, my favorite part is when we forge a relationship with an emerging artist, partner with them on a project that helps them achieve that next step in their careers, and then continue to foster our relationship with them as they blossom into global superstars. Very fulfilling to know we played a role in that process.
Right now my main sneaker rotation is Bape x UNDFTD Campus, Boost, and Springblade. When it comes to my all time favorite sneaker, its got to be the Campus 80 – I love that shoe in any iteration.
Stoli® Ohranj™ - 3 parts
Cranberry Juice - 1 part
Club Soda - 2 parts
Great cocktails start with responsible measuring.
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Article by Mick Boogie
Photography by Adidas Originals