Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture

Authors: Elizabeth Semmelhack, Bobbito Garcia, Tinker Hatfield, Emmanuele Lepri & Pauline Willis
Publishers: American Federation of Arts & Skira Rizzoli (2015)
Dimensions: 10 ¼ x 12 in.
Format: Hardback, 256 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8478-4660-3
Price: $45


Published by the AFA in partnership with the Bata Shoe Museum and Skira Rizzoli, Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture offers 256 pages of exclusive material, including archival photographs and historic ad campaigns as well as interviews, sketches, and style tips from designers and tastemakers; it is the definitive collector’s book for any self-respecting sneakerhead.

The book features an introduction by Bobbito Garcia, an in-depth essay on the history of sneaker culture and annotated exhibition checklist by exhibition curator Elizabeth Semmelhack, Senior Curator of the Bata Shoe Museum, a discussion of sneaker preservation by Ada Hopkins, Conservator of the Bata Shoe Museum, an interview between Dee Wells of Obsessive Sneaker Disorder and Nike designers Tinker Hatfield and Eric Avar, and contributions by sneaker experts including Cey Adams, James Bond, Darryl DMC McDaniels, Marc Eck, D’Wayne Edwards, Walt Clyde Frazier, Adam Ad Rock Horovitz, Christian Louboutin, Hiroki Nakamura, Tom Sachs, Jeremy Scott, and Stan Smith, among others.

About the Author(s)

Acclaimed shoe historian Elizabeth Semmelhack is senior curator at the Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto. Bobbito Garcia is the leading authority on sneaker culture. Ada Hopkins is a conservator at the Bata Shoe Museum. Dee Wells is the creator of Obsessive Sneaker Disorder. Tinker Hatfield is a Nike designer. Eric Avar is Nike’s creative director. Cey Adams was the founding creative director of Def Jam Records. Darryl McDaniels is a member of the hip-hop group Run-D.M.C. Walt Frazier is a former professional basketball player. Adam Horovitz is a member of the hip-hop group the Beastie Boys. Christian Louboutin is a footwear designer.

News & Reviews

“A web of historical and cultural connections, Out of the Box draws people from all corners of the creative industry . . . [It] is a complex, incisive account of the sneaker’s reinvention over two centuries of technology, marketing, fashion and social trends.”

“For those devotees . . . ‘Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture’ will be something akin to a holy text. The book tracks the rise of sneakers from athletic necessity to icon of American casual wear, and features interviews with designers, curators, and collectors, plus hundreds of photos of the most grail-status kicksof all time.”