Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Sneakers. Design for Fast Feet: Hamburg Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe
The MKG Hamburg exhibition 'Sneakers. Design for Fast Feet' highlights the cult which surrounds sports shoes with the presentation of around 100 posters and other printed promotion material created by designers and distributed by international agencies. Additionally, sneakers from private collections will be on show. The focus of 'Sneakers' lies not only on shoe design, but the design of a product's 'cool image' developed by creative people of the advertising industry.
According to the organisers of the exhibition, sneakers first attracted widespread attention in 1985 when they became associated with youth and hip-hop culture. In the same year Joschka Fischer wore trainers when he was sworn in as environment minister for the State of Hesse. At the time this earned him the nickname the “tennis shoe minister”.
Sneakers have become a worldwide phenomenon and a vital accessory for the modern city-dweller. Some dozen major brands and hundreds of lesser ones are in competition to find favour with consumers. This struggle is being conducted less and less through price wars and is instead being fought by other means: in the battle for hip design and a cool image. Of course, there are still shoes for particular types of sport but these days a more important market is street shoes, which appear in series, have “names”, and are often only brought out in limited editions, accompanied by elaborate advertising campaigns.
Charting the astonishing rise of the trainer over the last thirty years, the exhibition Sneakers. Design for Fast Feet looks at this seminal piece of footwear, which serves as a fashion statement, providing a splash of colour in our daily lives. As the first major show on the subject in Germany, it examines the phenomenon of sneaker culture from a variety of angles, shedding light on its importance in youth culture, its design, the marketing strategies adopted by its manufacturers, and the collector scene. There are a total of around 250 exhibits on display, including some 120 pairs of shoes – historic examples worn by famous sports stars, constituting a selection of prized items from private collections.
The exhibition Sneakers. Design for Fast Feet is produced in cooperation with numerous collectors, who are often loath to part with their most treasured pieces. Many of the posters and large-format prints on show were donated to the MKG by designers and agencies for the purposes of the exhibition. The exhibition will be held at the Hamburg Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe until August 28, 2016 .