There's an important and growing segment of the G:TB family that identifies as hardcore sneakerheads. For them, our curation staff has put together a pair of must-see documentary exhibitions on the emergence of sneaker culture as a force in global fashion.
The Rise of Sneaker Culture is both a book and a traveling exhibition. It's billed as "the first exhibition to explore the complex social history and cultural significance of the footwear now worn by billions of people throughout the world." If you're in New York between now and October 4, you can check it out at the Brooklyn Museum. If you do, we'd appreciate it if you file a report.
As a companion piece, if not intentionally, a documentary was released last week in New York and Los Angeles about sneaker culture. Sneakerheadz, from the producer of Little Miss Sunshine (which seems a bit of an odd juxtaposition, tells the story of the globalization of the sneaker business, and the cultural implications of the transformation of kicks from athletic wear to collectible, highly-desired tokens of community for millions.
The Fast Company piece linked in the first paragraph above has a cool timeline of the growth of the sneaker industry, dating back to 1921, when Converse became the first company to pay an endorser to promote their brand. Chuck Taylor had no idea that his name would remain a totem for hipsters around the globe nearly 100 years later. Nor that I would own five pairs of his shoes.