9780857857330

Sneakers Fashion, Gender, and Subculture

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780857857330

  • ISBN10:

    0857857339

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-01-28
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Summary

This is the first academic study of sneakers and the subculture that surrounds them. Since the 1980s, American sneaker enthusiasts, popularly known as “sneakerheads” or “sneakerholics”, have created a distinctive identity for themselves, while sneaker manufacturers such as Reebok, Puma and Nike have become global fashion brands.

How have sneakers come to gain this status and what makes them fashionable? In what ways are sneaker subcultures bound up with gender identity and why are sneakerholics mostly young men? Based on the author's own ethnographic fieldwork in New York, where sneaker subculture is said to have originated, this unique study traces the transformation of sneakers from sportswear to fashion symbol.

Sneakers explores the obsessions and idiosyncrasies surrounding the sneaker phenomenon, from competitive subcultures to sneaker painting and artwork. It is a valuable contribution to the growing study of footwear in fashion studies and will appeal to students of fashion theory, gender studies, sociology, and popular culture.

Author Biography

Yuniya Kawamura is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, USA. She is the author of The Japanese Revolution in Paris Fashion (Berg, 2004), Fashionology (Berg, 2005), and Doing Research in Fashion and Dress (Berg, 2011).

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction
1. The Socio-cultural Significance of Footwear: Past and Present
2. Gendered Footwear Fetishism: Sneakers for Men and Stiletto Heels for Women

Part II: Sneaker Subculture as a Masculine Phenomenon
3. The Background of a Sneaker Phenomenon: From Periphery to Mainstream
4. The Male Bond among Sneakerholics
5. Sneaker Collection as Competition and Obsession
6. A New Genre in the Art Scene: Sneaker Painting
7. The Sneaker Industry as the Global Fashion Industry

Conclusion: The Intersections of Gender and Identity in the American Sneaker Subculture

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