Design Museum, London
From battered Vans to box-fresh Adidas, how did sneakers become an $80bn-a-year global industry? This fun show has all the answers – including how to get really fat laces
‘It was all about being the freshest,” says Koe Rodriguez, toothbrush in hand. “That’s how you pulled honeys, how you got respect from the hard rocks. That’s how you laid your game down. It was all about being fresh.” The hip-hop historian’s not talking about his teeth, though, but his sneakers.
Rodriguez appears in Just for Kicks, a 2005 documentary about sneaker culture that also features an MC explaining his painstaking monthly shoelace-cleaning ritual. Treating his precious laces as if they were the finest cashmere, he would carefully scrub them between his clenched knuckles, then pinch out the water, squeeze them with a towel, and press them with the tip of a hot iron, to make them as wide as possible. “They gotta be fat,” he insists.