Vintage Reference: Where'd You Get Those? NYC Sneaker Culture 1960-1987
I'd wager my last slice of pizza on the idea that most of those stopping in to read this blog have at one point been involved in sneaker culture. Whether you're into finding the most obscure Italian tennis shoes, an Air Jordan fiend, or just like to keep a crispy pair of Common Projects on standby, you're involved in the now humongous scene of sneakers.
It's hard to imagine, but there was a time when sneakers (or trainers) were mostly for athletic use and styles were very limited. Just imagine choosing from essentially the same silhouette of Keds or Chuck Taylors back in the 50's. Starting in the late 60's, athletic brands started to segment their collection of models. Recreational runners needed their specially designed cuts just like the basketball players needed theirs. This gave those looking to add to their personal style different options, even if they didn't use the shoes for their intended use.
In his insanely detailed recount of the birth of NYC sneaker culture entitled Where'd You Get Those? NYC Sneaker Culture 1960-1987, author, sneaker head and NYC renaissance man, Bobbito Garcia puts the culture on record. Bobbito describes the influences of what people wore, which included everything from area high school basketball teams to hip hop, breaking crews to the competitive nature of stylish cats on the streets of New York with a linguistic flair and bop that only someone truly immersed in that time could.
If you haven't picked this beautiful brick of a book up already, I seriously recommend doing so. Not only is it a great conversation starter for your coffee table and a stroll back down memory lane, but an enjoyable history lesson for all of you that call yourself sneaker fiends.
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