Bata Shoe Museum: The Rise of Sneaker Culture

museum galleries Bata out of the box

The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto is a cultural gem in a shoe-box-like structure designed by famed architect Raymond Moriyama. Boasting a collection of 13,000 shoes and related artifacts, the museum has four galleries, with displays ranging from Chinese bound-foot shoes and ancient Egyptian sandals to chestnut-crushing clogs and glam platforms.

The current special exhibit “Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture” explores the history of the sneaker with some 120 running shoes from the past 150 years. On view are some of the rarest sneakers from the archives of Adidas, Nike, Reebok, PUMA, Converse and England’s Northampton Museums and Art Gallery, with the largest collection of historical footwear in the world. On loan are shoes from rap music legends Run DMC, sneaker guru Bobbito Garcia aka Kool Bob Love and Dee Wells from OSD (Obsessive Sneaker Disorder).

Now termed a “status symbol and icon of urban culture,” the historical beginnings of the sneaker are shown from its emergence in the 19th century to becoming “one of the most democratic forms of footwear” in the 20th century.

http://www.torontosun.com/2014/01/15/out-of-the-box-at-torontos-bata-shoe-museum

www.batashoemuseum.ca

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Jookin – Feet in the Air

feet in the air, jookin

Lil Buck is a mover and a shaker, the self-titled “ambassador” of Jookin – an intricate footwork dance style. Jookin evolved from Gangsta Walking, popularized on the streets of Memphis TN, about 30 years ago.  Lil Buck learned to dance with his sister in his living room, moved onto classical ballet, and then onto street performing in LA. These days, his freestyle footwork impresses onlookers beyond the street.

On stage at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Lil Buck took four beautifully exaggerated steps in slow motion. He was improvising to a string quartet. The well-heeled audience had probably come for Yo-Yo Ma but they gasped when Lil Buck accomplished a signature move, gliding smoothly across the floor as if levitating. He moved so that the notes seemed to vibrate up his body, his sneakers squeaking as he pirouetted.

“I think he’s a genius,” Mr. Ma said after the show. A video of their duet to Camille Saint-Saëns’s “The Swan” went viral in 2011; they have since performed it around the world — “one of the greatest experiences of my life,” Mr. Ma said.

http://news.yahoo.com/katie-couric-interviews-lil-buck-214704149.html;_ylt=AwrBT7Ur8DJUiGsA9QpXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEzanF0azdvBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1ZJUDMwNF8x

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/29/arts/music/lil-buck-expands-jookins-world.html

Photo Source:

https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrBT8QK7zJU7AUA5O5XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0ZG44cmVwBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1ZJUDMwNF8x?_adv_prop=image&fr=mcafee&va=jookin+lil+Buck

N.B.A Players’ Shoe Obsession

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Pro basketball players score points under the net or from the line with passion.  They score sneakers on the street just as avidly. Wearing head-turning sneakers is part of ‘who has game’.  “Players want to be seen, and they don’t want to look alike,” said Jay Gaspar, the Phoenix Suns’ equipment manager. “Shoes become their identity.”

The N.B.A restricts players’ professional apparel to matching uniforms; they even supply the socks. But sneakers are different – the players are free to express themselves. And they do, with mucho gusto and mucho dinero. (Pleasure and pay checks.)

Go to the link below to see which player has:

  • four locations across different states to warehouse his sneaker collection?
  • a Nike sponsorship but gives himself a ‘sneaker allowance’ of $2,000 a month to buy more?
  • a sneaker vault in his home?
  • a 2,000-pair collection?
  • shoes accented in gold as a tribute to the Grammy Awards?
  • 200 pairs piled in boxes next to his bed?
  • splurged on 57 pairs in a single afternoon?
  • said he would love to wear a new style every game?
  • played in a pair of Air Yeezy 2s — an exceedingly rare sneaker, the product of a collaboration between Nike and the rapper Kanye West?
  • claimed to have “the best shoe game in the league”?

http://fdra.org/latest-news/a-huge-n-b-a-rivalry-sneaker-collections-pics/

See also:

http://ikeepsit100.com/category/sneaker-addict/

 

€3,000 ‘Haute Couture’ Sneakers?

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When sneakers and tattoos appeared on the spring 2014 haute couture runways of Paris, it was as if the grande dame of fashion had doffed her stuffy embroidered gown for an entirely more current wardrobe…

It was a message echoed at Giambattista Valli, Vionnet and Chanel, where the models had a spring in their step. They skipped, sauntered and bounded down the double staircase that was part of Karl Lagerfeld’s jazz club set within the Grand Palais.

The collection’s recurring silhouette consisted of a corset topped by a cropped shirt or bolero. Coco Chanel herself rejected garments that constricted the body, but today, emphasizing the midriff – even by wrapping it in the finest Chanel tweed – fits our fixation with fitness.

To underscore the athletic message, many of the looks were accessorized with knee pads, fanny packs and sneakers in lace and python that are expected to cost upwards of €3,000.

 

Excerpts from Articles:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/fashion-and-beauty/fashion/3000-sneakers-haute-couture-strips-down-in- http://

topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/cathy_horyn/index.htmlparis/article16570668/

Photo Source:

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/fashion/chanel-dior-send-couture-sneakers-runway-article-1.1590800

Sneaker Fashion: Street Scenes in NYC

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In print too small to read, Bill Cunningham of the New York Times writes:

ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Elaborately decorated sneakers are playing a starring role. A trend not unlike the highly embellished women’s handbags at the turn of this century, it is definitely a men’s thing, although women are showing variations. This winter, Saks Fifth Avenue devoted five prime windows just to sneakers. Some with wings echo Mercury, and others are decorated with chains or bones, and then there are sneakers with contrasting laces.”

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/fashion/bill-cunningham-on-mens-sneakers.html?_r=0

‘Sneakerheads’

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Picture this:

Young boys with sneakers slung around their shoulders and pockets full of cash, huddle in hotel ballrooms and high school gyms, shouting and bartering as if they were on a trading room floor. This latest sports footwear craze, this teenage marketplace for high-end sneakers, has spread across the US. These teenage traders know their stuff; they recite resale values and spout debut dates for new lines.

Imagine this:

One of the 14-year-olds already has 81 pairs in his sneaker collection, costing $11,000 but worth probably $20,000 if he sold them all. But that’s a small corner of the market: basketball sneaker sales made up $4.5 billion of the total $21 billion athletic shoe business, according to Princeton Retail Analysis.

Top this:

At a Manhattan event, one young vendor turned away $98,000 in cash for his Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Red October” sneakers, designed by Kanye West and signed by the artist himself onstage at the Nassau Coliseum in February.

Excerpts from Article and Photo Source:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/17/business/a-thriving-market-where-air-jordans-are-blue-chips.html?_r=0

 

Feeling Concrete (or Snow) Under His Toes

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Journalist Thane Burnett went barefoot to feel the true grit of Toronto’s streets. He was a neophyte to the unshod lifestyle; his 10 little ‘piggies’ were always wrapped up tight while going to market — or anywhere else. For this one-day experiment on the pavement, he walked with Barefoot Moe, an expert on the ropes (and over the cracks).

Their conversation and the bare bottom walkabout did not convert the journalist.  He certainly did his research, presenting facts and anecdotes on the increasing popularity of going barefoot. However, as he walked he glanced enviously at the shoes on a homeless man and at the tiny ones on a baby. The article gives clear voice to Barefoot Moe’s enthusiasm. But, once the journalist was alone, he frantically washed his feet in an office washroom sink and quickly donned his black-leather shoes.  Once a shoddie, always a shoddie? 

No flip flopping in this story.

 

Adapted from:  http://www.theobserver.ca/2009/08/25/barefooters-take-to-the-road

Photo Source of Barefoot Moe:  https://www.google.com/images?hl=en&q=barefoot+Moe+images&gbv=2&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ei=cyxDU9noD4a9yAGHsoGwBw&ved=0CBsQsAQ