World Footwear


New sneaker culture exhibition at the Bata Shoe Museum

May 8, 2014 Canada
New sneaker culture exhibition at the Bata Shoe Museum
Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture is an exhibition focusing on the history of sneaker culture from the 19th century until the present day and displays over 120 models
The Toronto based Bata Shoe Museum recently opened Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture, an exhibition exploring the history of sneakers from the 19th century through to today. Out of the Box is claimed as the first exhibition in North America to showcase the history of the sneaker culture and features over 120 sneakers representing the past 150 years. Highlighting iconic footwear from the 20th and 21st centuries, this exhibition gives Museum visitors the opportunity to explore the historical beginnings of the sneaker from its emergence to becoming one of the most democratic forms of footwear in the 20th century and to its current position as status symbol and icon of urban culture.

Rare sneakers from the archives of adidas, Nike, Reebok, PUMA, Converse and the Northampton Museums and Art Gallery, along with loans from individuals and organizations, such as hip hop artist Run DMC, Dj Bobbito Garcia aka Kool Bob Love, PONY, Ewing Athletics, Mache, Phillip Nutt, Thad Jayaseelan, Sheraz Amin and contemporary artists Tom Sachs/ Sperone Westwater Gallery and Shantell Martin. The exhibition also contains the latest designs from fashion designers, including Christian Louboutin, Pierre Hardy, Lanvin and Prada, as well as some limited editions such as the Nike Dunk Supremes and LeBron James Stewies.

Industrial designer Karim Rashid, who is overseeing the project, commented: “I have always been very interested in the sneaker since I am a true believer of the age of casualism”, adding, “As a designer I also tend towards the running shoe as shoe of choice due to the great advances in technology, materials, performance, design, and style. It seems that the opportunity of experimentation is endless. So in turn, this exhibition showcases sneakers that all had pivotal implications on the industry, market, and society. The design of the exhibition reinforces the leaps and bounds made by the sneaker and its place within the flux, speed and charge of society. I am so pleased to work with the illustrious Bata Shoe Museum to make this exhibition a reality.”

Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture will be on view on the Bata Shoe Museum until the 1st of June 2014.

The Bata Shoe Museum is a life project of Sonja Bata, a Switzerland born citizen, who married Thomas J. Bata, the son of a well-known Czechoslovakian shoe manufacturer emigrated to Canada at the beginning of World War II. The family business had been nationalised during the communist occupation, and later when Thomas decided to rebuild the organization, Sonja took an active interest in what would become a global footwear business. During her travels she started to notice some aspects of the local footwear evolution and over the years a fascination for shoes, their history and the part they play in a specific culture developed. Since 1940, Sonja rummaged the world looking for footwear, and three decades later Mrs. Bata collection had overcome the status of an ordinary collection and was in need of storage space, which led to the decision of establishing the Bata Shoe Museum Foundation. Currently, the main objective of the Foundation is to operate an international centre for footwear research which houses and displays the Bata Shoe Museum’s collection of over 13 000 shoes and related items.

For more information about the “Out of the Box” exhibition please visit the website:

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