#FajoFlashback: spring fashion highlight in Toronto

June 30, 2014

This month, as we’re officially half way through the year, FAJO looks back at one of our favourite events from the first half of 2014. Undoubtedly, Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibition is a hands-down winner. Details below.

The Bata Shoe Museum’s recent exhibit Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture delved into the relevance and history of sneakers from the 19th century through to today. This exhibit featured 120 sneakers of different brands, purposes and styles, highlighting standout sneakers from the last decade.

The show displayed sneakers from many renowned brands, including Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Converse, Keds and PUMA. The exhibit integrated these popular sports brands with well-known fashion designers, such as Christian Louboutin, Prada, Pierre Hardy and Lanvin.

The modern design of the show created a flow from the first practical use of sneakers to the affluent designs we see today. Progressing through the exhibit, it was easy to note the evolution of the sneaker, and its different sportswear, fashion and technical uses.

The exhibit began with the introduction of the first piece created in the 1830s, called the “pre-vulcanized” sneaker, which was a rubber overshoe. Following with a sportswear focus, the exhibit featured the first sprinting and soccer sneakers, such as the Bata sprinting shoes pre-1939, which were lightweight leather running shoes with metal spikes on the bottom for traction. It then moved to the more versatile pieces, with the first edition of Keds (1913) and Converse numbers (1940-50s). Both Keds and Converse first edition sneakers are very similar to what we can see from the brand today, demonstrating how true they stay to their classic design.

The exhibit also introduced the first technological use of sneakers with the “PUMA RS-Computer Shoe” in 1986, which recorded distance and time. Not to mention the very popular and prominent basketball shoes, such as the limited edition Nike Dunk Supremes, and the Nike Air Jordans. These ones were well-known not only through sportswear but also in pop culture.

Finally, the modern design of the exhibit flowed to the high-fashion deisgns, such as the gold-studded Christian Louboutins, The “Totem” sneakers designed by Jeremy Scott for Adidas, the Pierre Hardy “Powarama” pair, and the green golf shoe/sneaker hybrid by Prada.  These highlighted pieces exposed the mix of fashion and sportswear, testifying to the demand of fashion and trends throughout the last decade.

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Feature image: Prada Kiltie Wingtip, 2013.

By Lacey Ward
Photography by Image © 2013 Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada

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