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the rise of sneaker culture at the brooklyn museum

nike. air jordan I, 1985. nike archives.
(photo: ron wood. courtesy american federation of arts/bata shoe museum)


when those holographic tweed chanel sneakers walked the fall 2014 runways, sneaker culture had reached the height of fanaticism.  sneakers are possibly the most universally embraced of all footwear.  whether donning converse all stars, air jordans, or jeremy scotts, stylistic choice of athletic footwear speaks volumes about lifestyle and culture.

the brooklyn museum outlines the history of this seemingly democratic but actually complicated shoe in its upcoming exhibition, the rise of sneaker culture. a pair of 1860s spiked running shoes, the original airforce 1 sneaker, and limited edition louis vuittons, are among the 150 pairs of shoes on display.  from high-fashion interpretations to historical artifacts, this exhibit offers a little something for every kind of sneaker lover.

thomas dutton and thorowgood. running shoe, 1860–65. northampton
museums and art gallery, northampton, uk. (photo: greg washington.
courtesy american federation of 
arts/bata shoe museum) 

converse rubber shoe company. all star/non skid, 1917. converse archives. 
(photo: courtesy american federation of arts)

dominion rubber company. fleet foot, circa 1925. collection of the bata shoe museum, toronto. (photo: hal roth. courtesy american federation
of arts/bata shoe museum)

gebrüdder dassler schuhfabrik. modell waitzer, 1936. adidas ag. 
(photo: adidas ag / studio waldeck. courtesy american federation of arts)

converse. gripper, late 1940s-early 1950s. collection of the bata shoe museum, toronto. (photo: ron wood. courtesy american federation
of arts/bata shoe museum)

nike. waffle trainer, 1974. northampton museums and art gallery,
northampton, uk.
(photo: ron wood. courtesy american
federation of arts/bata shoe museum)

adidas x run–dmc. 25th anniversary superstar, 2011. courtesy of run–dmc,
collection of erik blam. (photo: ron wood. courtesy american
federation of arts/bata shoe museum)

adidas. stan smith, circa 1980s. adidas ag. (photo: adidas ag / 
studio waldeck. courtesy american federation of arts)

adidas. micropacer, 1984. collection of the bata shoe museum, toronto; gift of phillip nutt. (photo: ron wood. courtesy american federation
of arts/bata shoe museum)

nike x supreme. dunk high pro sb, 2003. collection of sheraz amin. 
(photo: ron wood. courtesy american federation of arts/bata shoe museum)

louis vuitton x kanye west. don, 2009. private collection. 
(photo: ron wood. courtesy american federation of arts/bata shoe museum)

 pierre hardy. poworama, 2011. collection of the bata shoe museum,
toronto; gift of pierre hardy. (photo: ron wood.
courtesy american federation of arts/bata shoe museum)

puma x undefeated. clyde gametime gold, 2012. puma archives. (photo: ron wood. courtesy american federation of arts/bata shoe museum)

common projects. achilles low, 2015. collection of common projects.
(photo: courtesy american federation of arts)

nike. air jordan III, 1988. kosow sneaker museum
(electric purple chameleon, LLC).
(photo: © kathy tarantola photography. courtesy american federation of arts)

 nike. foamposite, 1997. nike archives. (photo: ron wood. 
courtesy american federation of arts/bata shoe museum)

nike x tom sachs. nike craft lunar underboot aeroply experimentation 
research boot prototype, 200812. collection of the artist. 
(photo: courtesy american federation of arts)

 

the rise of sneaker culture is a traveling exhibition and is on view at the brooklyn museum july 10th-october 4th.

www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/rise_of_sneaker_culture/

 

 

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