The stories behind the brands, designers, and sneakerheads that transformed athletic footwear into a cultural phenomenon unfold in this epic volume. From its early twentieth-century origins as a sporting shoe; to the thrill of seeing Michael Jordan’s red, white, and black high-tops on the court; to the swagger and style of hip-hop footwear, the sneaker has become a status marker and a coveted cult collectible. This history of the sneaker spans Nike’s famous swish logo and global domination, the saga of the dueling brothers who respectively founded Adidas and Puma, and the enduring popularity of Off-White kicks and Vans.
With a glossary of key terms and an overview of the technological and stylistic revolutions of the sneaker, this is an essential book for understanding the streetwear universe, vocabulary, and codes; its innovators and their coveted models; as well as the burgeoning global resale economy. Through profiles of the brands; portraits of Virgil Abloh, Chitose Abe, and Travis Scott; and interviews with Kanye West, collector Max Limol, and pop culture guru Sarah Andelman of the legendary Parisian boutique Colette, this book offers deep perspective on the creativity of the industry. Insight into the future of sneakers and how the leading brands are committed to sustainability, customization, and gender equity reveal how the sneaker business continues to reinvent itself at the forefront of culture.