You might not realize it but “tennis shoes”, “sneakers” and “kicks” got their start in the mid-nineteenth. But in the 20th century high and low-end sneakers have become a global obsession. The Rise of Sneaker Culture is the first exhibit to explore the social history and cultural significance of the footwear now worn by billions on earth every day.
The exhibition includes some 150 pairs of sneakers, and looks at the evolution of kicks. The show mines the archives of Adidas, Converse, Nike, Puma, and Reebok as well as private collectors like hip-hop artist Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, sneaker guru Bobbito Garcia, and Dee Wells of Obsessive Sneaker Disorder. Also featured are pieces by Prada, other major design houses and designers, as well as those made in collaboration with artists like Damien Hirst and Shantell Martin and artist Tom Sachs‘ creations. Film footage, interactive media, photographic images, and design drawings contextualize the sneakers and explore the social history, technical innovations, fashion trends, and marketing campaigns that have shaped sneaker culture over the past two centuries. The Rise of Sneaker Culture is at the Brooklyn Museum through October 4, 2015.