Sneakers – Size Isn’t Everything
Author: Milk, edited by Liz Farrelly
Publisher: Booth-Clibborn Editions
Publication Date: 1998 (1st edition hardcover), later editions published in 2000 (softcover)
ISBN: 1861540078, 9781861540072
Sneakers – Size Isn’t Everything treats sneakers in a befittingly biblical way. The book itself (the first edition) is wrapped in an all red padded cover with minimal gold embossing on both the front and back covers, reminiscent of the garb that many bibles sport. The invitations to the launch party at Collette mimicked a bulletin that you might get when entering a Sunday mass, the cover emblazoned with, “Worship Here”. Snoop Dogg himself, upon being informed that the book will be available stateside, responded with, “it will be major”.
The author of the book, Milk, is a creative collective/group that included Elliot Chaffer, Paul Ayre and Nicolas Charavet. Ayre had this to say about the book, “With trainers you can break down race, background, musical tastes, socio-economic groups, and fashion preferences…It’s not just about kids and Hip-Hop, everyone can relate to it” (Source)
Undeniably experiential in nature, the book is a conglomeration of interviews and accounts from musicians, artists, well-known folks in the sneaker community, and a host of others. What the book does extraordinarily well, is embody the eclectic range of subjects and storylines that sneakers have created, been a part of, intersected with and run parallel to. A few notable tidbits:
- Fab5 Freddie recounting his initial love for sneakers, remembering the ads for PF Flyers touting the ability to “run faster and jump higher” because of the Magic Wedge (two of the PF promotional pieces are part of the Sneakerature library and can be found here and here).
- A remarkably succinct interview wiuth Harry Hodge, the then President of Quicksilver:
Does Quicksilver make Trainers? No
Are you thinking about doing it? Not at all, never.
- A satirical (hopefully?) and very NSFW piece called “The Keds Masturbation Manual”.
A video/documentary was filmed along with the book (you can watch it below) – included is commentary from Ice T, The Roots, DJ Muggs, Fab5 Freddy, Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa (who had this to say about sneakers, “sneakers they have a lot of funky styles, and hip hop’s about the funk, so with the funky styles of hip hop and the funk they puttin’ on the sneakers, thats why you got so many designs and so many elements of sneakers, from Nike to Puma to all the other brand names out there today so you know we just givin up the funk to sneakers”) FYI – there are parts of this video that are more than likely NSFW.
Sneakerature’s Take: Immersive, experiential, informative, weird, funky, enlightening and awesome.