Sneakers are one of the most exciting and fast-changing phenomena in youth fashion today. Sneakers: Classics to Customs features many of the most coveted examples that have become emblems of style over the past three decades. As Sneakers: The Complete Collector’s Guide declares ‘The sneaker has moved out from the sports arena and exploded into popular culture, a fashion staple that transcends race and class yet defines who you are in today’s urban tribes’.
Sneakers explores a number of themes which reflect the evolution of sneakers from functional sportswear to cult fashion. Beginning with the Classics - sports shoes that have become enduring styles - such as the Converse All Star, Adidas Superstar and Nike Air Jordan. Followed by a series of limited editions - special releases aimed at the serious wearer and collector - that have been produced by the major brands. Another aspect of limited editions, is the collaboration between sports shoe companies and designers working in other fields such as Peter Saville and Adidas, Marc Newson and Nike and Philippe Starck with Puma.
Fame and celebrity is another of the many ways that the once humble sneaker has been elevated to cult status. Finally, the involvement of artists and designers in customising sneakers has extended the creative possibilities of the form.
The exhibition displays over 300 pairs of the most style worthy sneakers. All works are sourced from private loans, mostly Melbourne and Sydney collectors. Music and animation is an important component of the exhibition and highlights some of the music, dance and sports subcultures that are linked to particular sneaker fads.