A Whole Exhibition Dedicated To Trainers Is Coming To The Design Museum

A Whole Exhibition Dedicated To Trainers Is Coming To The Design Museum
Air Max 90s
This Nike design was inspired by bacon. Photo: Michaela Efford

Sneakers are coming to the Design Museum. Wait, what? We thought they were called trainers in Blighty...

Call the shoes whatever you like, the Design Museum (which clearly has some Stateside curators on its team) is putting an exhibition on about them in 2020 — Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street. The timing is fitting. In the past ten years, the culture surrounding trainers has grown exponentially, and the footwear has slowly come to be recognised by fashion's gatekeepers. An exhibition dedicated to the functional and fashionable shoes at a major London institution is just another sign of this.

Gold Air Max 97s
All gold everything. Photo: Michaela Efford

The exhibition is one for both 'sneakerheads' and people who just like having comfy shoes on their feet. It's divided into three parts: Performance, Street Culture and Fashion. The exhibition takes a look at the future of trainers, and innovations that are changing the shoes we wear — like 3D printing, self-lacing and using recycled materials.

Lilac Reebok Classics
Photo: Michaela Efford

The exhibition also dives into the murky world of reselling trainers. It's a global cottage industry that's currently valued at two billion dollars (yes, you should definitely quit your job and dedicate your life to reselling).

But more importantly than all of that, the exhibition will be stacked with fly kicks. Expect the rarest of colourways and the most limited edition trainers that sell for thousands on the resale market. Finally, there's the chance to design your own trainer thanks to an interactive exhibit with Pensole Academy.

Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street is at the Design Museum 6 May-6 September 2020. Tickets are £10 and go on sale 20 November 2019.

Last Updated 13 November 2019

Continued below.