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The design of sneakers

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3. The fashion pioneers

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"The fashion pioneers" - Exhibition Playground - The design of sneakers, 2020
© Alastair Philip Wiper

In 1980, the New York Times wrote: “When Karl Lagerfeld showed tennis shoes with his 1976 couture collection, everyone laughed... What seemed absurd four years ago now appears to have been avant-garde.”

They are a handful of couturiers, who, before thesneakers craze of the 1980s, seized the rise of sportswearand saw in those shoes a sign of time changing, embodied by the figures of the counterculture, from hip-hop to rock bands. The Japanese designer Issey Miyake, certainly influenced by his trip to America, put sneakers on the feet of his models in 1973. He was followed by Courrèges, Daniel Hechter, Yves Saint Laurent and Claude Montana, who switched high heelsfor flats and casual outfits, presenting a new image of women, now independent because they were free to move. The ELLE magazine spread this new trend.
 


Vogue's Own Boutique: "It All Starts with New Red Sneakers..."
Vogue, New York, Vol. 156, N° 4, (Sep 1, 1970)
© 2012 Condé Nast



Chloé show by Karl Lagerfeld
Spring-summer 1976 ready-to-wear collection
© Jean-Luce Huré



Chloé show by Karl Lagerfeld
Spring-summer 1976 ready-to-wear collection
© Jean-Luce Huré