Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street

The London Design Museum’s latest exhibition ‘Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street’ is opening later this month. This major showcase will feature over 200 shoes as part of a large-scale investigation into the history and design relevance of trainers — which have, over the past half-century, gone from functional sporting goods to collectable art phenomena.

A trailer set to sampled beats and scratching turntables evokes the sounds of the MTV generation, with footage of basketball players, skateboarders and runway models visualising the evolution of the sneaker in pop culture. It begins with shoes like the Converse Big Nine, which promised “pep, speed, good looks and comfort” in 1919 — long before adidas and Puma shaped the hip-hop aesthetic of the ‘80s as Michael Jordan set a blueprint for modern-day celebrity endorsement with Nike.

The exhibition concludes in the present, where influencers and resellers dictate widespread public interest, and secret drops with tastemaker retailers ensure a culture as vibrant and far-reaching as ever.

‘Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street’ will run from 18th May to 24th October 2021, at the London Design Museum.

Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street exhibition trailer from Design Museum on Vimeo.