Even though the relationship between Adidas and hip-hop began before Run-DMC immortalized the company with their sartorial tribute, "My Adidas," the trio embodied the link between street music and street culture.
Now Missy Elliott hopes to be that kind of icon for a new generation. She's signed a deal with Adidas Originals to create a new line of clothes, shoes and accessories called Respect Me. Missy has long rocked Adidas gear in her videos, but this relationship marks the first time the two parties have hooked up for a formal deal.
Unlike similar arrangements made by Jay-Z and 50 Cent with Reebok (see "Get Ready To Change Clothes: New Jay-Z Kicks On The Way"), Missy's also flipping the gender script: the Respect Me line is exclusively for girls and women. Because Missy herself has wrestled with issues of self-image, the line will be created for women of varying sizes, from extra small to double-extra-large, according to an Adidas spokesperson.
A percentage of sales from the Respect Me line will benefit Break the Cycle, a nonprofit organization that helps victims of domestic violence. Missy is a spokesperson for the group. "I do believe when you reach a certain status in this business, you've got to be positive," Elliott said in a statement.