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Sneakers at the Design Museum

Published: 10/04/2021 By Allan Fuller

OPENS TUESDAY 18 MAY 2021

Step up and discover the footwear phenomenon that has challenged performance design, inspired subcultures and shaken the world of fashion.

What to expectKnow your Air Jordans from your Air Force 1s?

From trainers originally designed for specific athletic activities like the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star, the Puma Disc, and Nike Alpha fly Next%, discover how sneakers such as the Reebok Instapump Fury, the Vans Half Cab and the Asics Gel Lyte III have become cultural symbols of our times.

Take a journey through the design process behind some of the most technically inventive shoes of today with the Adidas FutureCraft. Strung shoe-making robot designed by Kram/Weisshaar, Satoshi, a brand using blockchain certification and the world’s first biologically active shoes developed by MIT Design Lab and Biorealize for Puma.

Then delve into the lucrative resale market that is currently valued at $6 billion in data visualisations from Stock X, before reliving the streetwear staple's high-fashion reinvention including sneakers by Balenciaga, Comme des Garçons and Y3 and runway looks from A-COLD-WALL* and Craig Green.

Uncover the icons and collaborations that have shaped the sneaker scene over the years from Michael Jordan and Run-DMC to Kanye West, experience visuals and graphic work from Jamel Shabazz, Grace Ladoja, Simon Wheatley and Reuben Dangoor, and meet the designers working to make the industry more sustainable, Stella McCartney, Helen Kirkum and Alex Taylor.