My Summer Lair Chapter #242: What Are You Wearing If You’re Going to Sneak Into The Future?
I’m wearing Jordans as I write this; the popular Nike shoe has dominated the past and the present. It’s been a wile ride since April 1985. Yet looking back only has value when you look forward. Cue: Future Now: Virtual Sneakers to Cutting Edge Kicks an exhibition at the Bata Shoe Museum in downtown Toronto.
The Director and Senior Curator of the Bata Shoe Museum Elizabeth Semmelhack has assembled an intriguing collection of futuristic sneaker designs. And yes that includes Back To The Future II’s Nikes.
When Michael J Fox slips into a pair of Nike Mags and boom! They magically lace up. Behold…the future.
This goofy less than 30 seconds moment was of the first times we’ve seen proper future shoes. We’ve seen notable shoes in movies before.
Famously Judy Garland’s magical ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz. But with the Nike Mag we glimpsed the future.
That’s a profound moment for all the sci-fi movies and TV shows we happily consume. We’ve seen all kinds of outfits and odd clothes that people (like us but are not us) are wearing in the future. (Picture Star Trek characters out of their uniforms. Why do they design such astonishing spaceships but can’t design dope clothes?!)
And here…the Nike Mag was one of the first shoe moments with a bold opinion about what the future could be for sneakers.
(First immortalized in the 1989 film Back to the Future II the Nike Mag was finally released to the public in September 2011. 1989 to 2011 just to give you a window of the evolution of sneaker tech. What you saw in the movie was a lie! That was movie magic. So Michael Jackson was right in Billie Jean: “’Cause the lie becomes the truth.”)
The shoes we wear are convey so much. That’s always been true; it’s even more true with Jordans.
Stunningly the Jordan shoe transformed so much. It moved culture and created culture. It inspired greatness. It is a fashion statement. It conveys your values. I know this sounds like it’s a lot for a basketball shoe, but it does convey these things easily and quickly. (There’s always disappointment when you see somebody behaving badly in a pair of Jordans because they’re betraying the values of the shoe. Our values. That’s not who we are.)
Future Now: Virtual Sneakers to Cutting Edge Kicks is a fantastic exhibition. Curated by historian discussing the future. Because it is in the past that we see cues and clues to where the future is.
Host Sammy Younan
Recorded: Tuesday August 08, 2023 at 6:30 pm
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