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5 cool factoids we learned at The Brooklyn Museum’s new sneaker exhibit

The Rise of Sneaker Culture
Adidas X Run–DMC circa 2011.

If you find yourself constantly wanting to add to your sneaker collection, it’s time for a night at the museum.

The Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibit, which runs through October 4, just opened at The Brooklyn Museum, and it’s the first show to explore the history and significance of sneakers, confirming a story that New York City sidewalks tell everyday.

More Reading: The best sneakers for every workout

Of course, even if you didn’t need glass cases to tell you that sneakers—from the casual slip-on variety to the most functional running shoes—are having a serious moment (and are, like, so totally important to your wardrobe), it’s nice to see our obsession explored through this historial-cultural lens. Over the past few years, sneakers been appearing on Fashion Week runways and on the sidewalk with dresses, as the athleisure movement continues to grow.

More Reading: A trend you should run with: Sneakers are everywhere

At the exhibit, you’ll encounter about 150 pairs, from Reebok to Christian Louboutin, with cool and interesting stories behind them that help to unpack the evolution of sneaker culture.

To give you a sneak peek, we’re sharing five cool facts we learned during our visit that can be shared as factoids over your next dinner (or shoe shopping expedition) with friends. Or better yet, lace up your sneaks and go check it out yourself… —Jamie McKillop

Converse All Star circa 1917.
Converse All Star circa 1917.

1. Sophia Chang, who designed Puma’s Brooklynite collection, is one of just a few women designing men’s sneakers.

2. Under Armour, which began designing shoes as late as 2006, worked with lingerie manufacturers to design the lightweight Speedform Apollo.

3. Christian Louboutin said in an interview in Women’s Wear Daily in 2011 that, “There is a group of men that is thinking a little bit more like women… They treat these shoes very much as objects, as collectors’ items.”

Pierre Hardy
Pierre Hardy Poworama circa 2011.

4. Lanvin, which has been making haute couture clothing for over one hundred years, started making sneakers in 2005.

5. The first iteration of the Adidas Stan Smith sneaker was produced in 1964 for tennis star Robert Haillet before Stan Smith endorsed the shoe in 1971, and is still one of the most popular street sneakers today.

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