Sneakers

the complete limited editions guide

iOS APP

We will be releasing an iOS app that will feature the complete content from Sneakers: The Complete Limited Editions Guide, key content from Sneakers: The Complete Collectors’ Guide, plus we’ve added extra bonus content.

Sneakers will be filterable by colour, material, technology, and rarity level; and all featured sneakers will be viewable on an interactive timeline.

Book

The much-anticipated sequel to the classic volume Sneakers: The Complete Collectors’ Guide is 0ut to buy now.

Film

press

Launch for Sneakers: The Complete Limited Editions Guide

To celebrate the launch of our fast selling tome ‘Sneakers The Complete Limited Editions Guide’, we held a small event at one of the book’s stockists, Offspring in Shoreditch. Reggae Rum Punch was on hand courtesy of Wray & Nephew whilst music was provided by Wedding Smashers.

To show our appreciation, guests were invited to enter a social media sneaker battle, with the opportunity to win a £200 Offspring gift voucher and a copy of Sneakers The Complete Limited Editions Guide. Runners up won a copy of the book.

Entrants posted pictures of the sneakers they were wearing on Instagram or Twitter, which all appeared on a live feed from which the winners were picked.

You can see footage of the event and some of the attendees’ sneaker entries via our ‘sneakers2’ feed here.

We’d like to thank everyone at Offspring, Wray & Nephew and Thames & Hudson for making this a memorable night for all.

STEP UP

There are times when I have been accosted on the street by 14-year-old boys. I pull a disgusted face — “Who me? Oh, do behave, darling. I’m old enough to be your mother” — only to be brought back down to earth when I realise they are only interested in me for my trainers. Yes, my trainers, which are usually limited-edition, rare dead stock or something so cult that the kids are completely surprised that a girl knows what they are, let alone is wearing them.

It works both ways. I, too, am surprised they know what’s on my feet. My tendency towards very specific, very expensive trainers used to be a signal to a select band of individuals (with a creative job title and a penchant for nicely designed footwear) that I was one of them. The more exclusive our shoes, the higher we featured in the trainer hierarchy. Access to Quick Strike (limited-edition sneakers produced for a handful of stores) proved we were connected to the inner sanctum of the sportswear world. Unless you were a sports or a street-style star, you wouldn’t even know our trainers existed.

All that has changed with the rise of the fashion sneaker. Trainers are everywhere, and today’s trainer tribes are no longer comprised of niche hip-hop heads with links to the United States and a whole lotta money to burn. Instead, everyone — from the new wave of cool mummies to models, renowned architects and fashion stylists — is treating trainers as just another part of their shoe wardrobe, rather than as a juvenile or gym- only item.

Ushering in a new age of trainer devotion is Sneakers: The Complete Limited Editions Guide, the follow-up to the phenomenally successful Sneakers book. As one of the editors, Niranjela Karunatilake, puts it: “It was time to publish a sequel explaining how sneaker culture has moved on and exploded over the past 10 years. The constant flux of limited editions has made sneakers a multimillion-pound industry and the book explains why they have become a fashion staple.” And a fashion staple they are.

This season’s fashion-week street snaps are awash with pavement- friendly footwear, as models and stylists eschew standard gym sneakers for technical, performance sneakers such as Nike Roshe Runs or Nike Frees. Then there’s the pram-pusher posse. Jenny Scott, a graphic designer and founder of Mothers Meeting (a cooler sort of Mumsnet, without the moaning) is never seen without her Nike Air Max, a perennial favourite among the hot-mum tribe. “I’ve always been into trainers,” she says. “Having the latest and coolest was always my thing. And since I had a baby, they’re more of an essential. Obviously the amazing innovations and colours appeal, but mainly it’s about comfort that copes with my schedule.”

Now that trainers have become an accepted style statement, you don’t have to worry about switching shoes between the school run, meetings and post-work drinks. For the blogging set, bright and patterned, co- ordinated or clashing, anything goes. The fashion blogger Susie Lau was an early wearer of sneakers with fashion, pairing Nike Flyknits with her usual bright concoction of young and established designers. So why has the fashion set shifted from skyscraper heels to sportswear? “I don’t like looking as if I’m struggling with what I’m wearing,” she says, “and I struggle with the teetering movement when I’m wearing high heels, particularly stilettos.” Herein lies the real reason that trainers have become so prolific in the past year: effortless comfort.

Appearing as if you haven’t tried has become the ultimate style accolade, a look instantly achieved when you switch stilettos for sneakers. Being expected to wear a Louboutin, then turning up in an Adidas Gazelle, is the easiest way to channel laid-back (yet considered) cool. Phoebe Philo is the poster girl for this new attitude. She is renowned for closing her Céline shows in sneakers, and is solely responsible for the rise of ready-to-wear looks finished with trainers. Sometimes in Nike Air Vortex, sometimes in Adidas Stan Smiths, but always cool, Philo exudes a confidence that says she doesn’t need to dress to impress, her work does that all on its own. If you’ve never worn trainers before, then that is the secret: own it.

Performance or lifestyle, brightly coloured or black on black on black, the choice from the biggest sportswear companies and best fashion designers means that, even for the uninitiated, there is a springy, technically advanced, foam-based footwear option that will suit your style. In a subculture that used to be bound by rules, today there are none. So slip them on, tie up your laces and step into what’s hot now.