Sneakers: A Growing Culture
Shoes are an important necessity of our daily lives, especially since they help protect our feet from sharp things and germs that can harm us. But it is also a big part of people’s style and can even change a person’s mood, by just the way it feels in our feet and they way it looks on the rest of a person's outfit. It’s an accessory that makes of big statement thus, bringing me to the sneaker culture.
Sneakers have been around for over a century mostly to support us recreational sports. Later does it become a popular footwear choice during the rise of breakdancing in the mid 70’s. It wasn’t until, 1986, when rap group, Run D.M.C, came out with the song “My Adidas” did wearing sneakers from big brands became a type of style statement in the hip hop culture and mainly the black community. Thus, when the sneaker market saw how the sales were booming in this particular demographic, their marketing ads and promoted geared more towards black population of America.
Fast forward to today, the sneaker industry has rolled in over $55 billion due to the high and growing demands from the millennial generation and can grow the market to $220 billion by 2020, according to Forbes.
In the documentary, “Just for Kicks”, follows the sneaker infatuation with interviews from rap artists, journalists, world renowned collectors, brand marketers, and people who just love sneakers and big name brands, in order to understand certain trends like taking lace out of your shoes became a "style", which was actually a thing seen by someone when coming out of prison and back on the streets .
People have also died or traded for other things with those who were walking around the newest and dopest shoes on.
Here's the video to the full documentary but, if you're a documentary junkie and appreciate works likes this one. It's pretty worth it to buy the documentary. Also if you want better quantity. Click here.
There is even now a exhibit, by The American Federation of Arts with the tour of Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture that takes the audience through the sneaker’s social history even further. From its origins in the mid-19th century up to its role in the present day as a status symbol of urban culture which gives the audience a much longer timeline about sneakers than the "Just for kicks" documentary which only talks about the culture of a thirty year span.
The exhibit is currently in Oakland Museum of California until April 2 and if you're in the area you can get more info here! If you can't here's also the official website about the Exhibit to get a glimpse.
Once a small fad, has now grown into a big part of hip hop culture which also in itself a subculture that is becoming a common culture style dominating the youth.