The Rise of the Sneaker Culture #sneakerhead

Sneakers have become a global obsession.

“The Rise of the Sneaker Culture” exhibition, which includes approximately 150 pairs of sneakers, looks at the evolution of the sneaker from its beginnings to its current role as status symbol and urban icon. Included are works from the archives of manufacturers such as Adidas, Converse, Nike, Puma, and Reebok as well as private collectors such as hip-hop legend Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, sneaker guru Bobbito Garcia, and Dee Wells of Obsessive Sneaker Disorder.

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Also featured are sneakers by Prada and other major fashion design houses and designers, as well as those made in collaboration with artists including Damien Hirst and Shantell Martin. 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.

Curator Elizabeth Semmelhack is the brains behind the carefully assembled exhibition which is dedicated to the complex social history of the footwear, spanning all the way from the development of rubber-soled shoes in the 1830’s to models released only in the past year from Nike, Adidas and Reebok.

The gallery departed this summer from its birthplace at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto to show at its current location in the Brooklyn Museum of Art from July 10th through October 4th, and will continue on to the Toledo Museum of Art until December 3rd.

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