Nike Air Jordan 1 from 1985 with signature by designer Tinker Hatfield, Photo: Julia Schoierer aka "Sneakerqueen"

February 17 – May 26 2024

The sneaker, originally a pure sports shoe, has experienced an amazing rise from the 1980s until today.

Influenced by basketball and hip-hop culture, it first hit the streets, mainstream and mass culture, and finally the catwalk of major luxury labels.

Big Red Boot MSCHF 14
Super Normal 2 Orange Milk MSCHF 4
ASICS Gel Lyte III AFEW Koi 2015 © AFEW

Why did the shoes become legendary and who made them famous? The presentation begins by looking at the origins in sport and music. Originals such as the Air Jordan 1 and the Adidas Superstar are used to tell the story of their success.

Today, there is a real hype around sneakers, which is the main focus of the exhibition. There are collaborations with stars and artists, international brands and designers such as Salehe Bembury or Virgil Abloh. Sneakers are collected all over the world, can cost thousands of euros and sell out in seconds.

In addition to futuristic designs, the last chapter of the exhibition shows sneakers with innovative technologies such as auto-lacing, augmented reality or 3D printing. With a view to the future of sneaker culture, consumption-critical and resource-saving approaches are also presented.

1985 PUMA RS Computer

Curated by Alina Fuchte, Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf.

Exhibition design by Studio Mudio.

Partners Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf Otto Beisheim Stiftung Hoffmann Liebs Max Brown Midtown CCS