Sole Survivors: A New Documentary Explores the Cultural Obsession With Sneakers (Video)

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On the heels of the release of Fresh Dressed, a documentary film examining the marriage of Hip-Hop culture and fashion, a new film being released this summer will extend the examination, albeit with a narrower focus. An exploration of those obsessed with kicks, Sneakerheadz premiered at SXSW earlier this year and while an official release date has yet to be announced, creators of the documentary have confirmed its arrival in theaters sometime in Summer 2015. Produced and co-directed by Oscar winner David T. Friendly (Little Miss Sunshine), the project is a fully independent venture featuring interviews with Wale, Nike designer Jeff Staple, 999 designer Frank the Butcher, and comedian Mike Epps, among others. The film traces the history, globalization, and even the psychological nuances of sneaker collecting (is it a form of hoarding?).

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While certainly present across a swatch of subcultures, fascination with sneakers is arguably most visible in Hip-Hop; since the days of Run-D.M.C. and shell-toe Adidas, MCs have been rhyming about their shoes with pride. In fact, the iconic rap group has contributed such cultural cache to sneakers that Darryl McDaniels himself will be loaning some of his private shoe collection to the Brooklyn Museum in New York City, where an upcoming exhibit called “The Rise of Sneaker Culture” will debut on Friday (July 10). Heads (both the Hip-Hop and Sneaker kinds) outside of the city can check out the trailer for Sneakerheadz right here.

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