In 1921, pro-basketball player Chuck Taylor paid a mere two cents to the Converse Rubber Shoe Company to change up the original high-top All Stars. Converse liked the change, and later decided to stamp Taylor’s name on the shoes — it was the first-ever collaboration between a celebrity-athlete and a shoe brand.
Next came the classic white “Stan Smiths” we see everywhere, then red, black, and white “Air Jordans,” and of course, “Yeezys.” Now with sneaker fever at an all-time high, the book, Sneakers, out October 24 from Razorbill, gives a behind-the-scenes look at the people driving the trend: the shoe designers. And others: Serena Williams, basketball player Kobe Bryant, fashion designer Alexander Wang, Nike designer Brandis Russell, New York-based artist and shoe designer Sophia Chang, and Adidas staffers Rachel Muscat and Jon Wexler: were all interviewed for the book.
The 320-page tome contains personal reflections, sketches, photographs, and anecdotes from top designers for brands including Adidas, Nike, and Reebok. Journalists Howie Kahn, Alex French, and designer Rodrigo Corral interviewed more than 100 people in the industry to investigate questions outlined in the book’s introduction: “How do shoes capture the imagination? How do uppers and mid-soles combine to generate feelings of lust, or even love? What makes sneakers timeless, obsession-worthy, and cool?” Click through for a preview.
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