Simple enough and yet these two concepts encompass a lot of the different things sneakers can be said to represent. Then again, every individual has their own conception of what sneakers mean… good or bad (feel free to suggest your own equation in the comments). Perhaps that’s precisely the point… sneakers are a form of individuality. For Lindsey Marshall, sneakers are practically a personality trait: “Sneakers started as a form of self-expression. In high school. I had [to wear] a uniform and shoes were a way to be an individual.”
“My favourite thing (about sneakers) is the combination of style and practicality. You can do so much in them but they can also completely make an outfit, they are an extension of your personality.” - Lindsey Marshall
So what’s in Lindsey’s “museum of individuality”? In the interest of time, we’ll only list a few: Educator, entrepreneur – custom jewellery/accessories & bowtie designer, exquisite cook, amateur painter and sneaker enthusiast. It’s very much worth checking out Lindsey’s work: Lola & Co.
It goes without question that she.lace would want an “oh so fly” lady such as Lindsey to show off her kicks for us. What’s really intriguing is why she decided to model for us:
“I decided to model because it’s fun, I enjoy creative things and I’m all about supporting my friends and community. To me, I see it as more than its beginnings, more than the Instagram and the blog. I see it as a collective movement that supports the strength and creative outlet of women. When you all first told me of the idea, I was eager to help because growing up, sneakers were a huge part of my identity and a means to develop confidence, and I knew I wasn’t alone in that sentiment. I think it’s important to have a space for this often unrecognized female community that is here and thriving.”
Which brings us to the location of this shoot, the Bata Shoe Museum. If you ever happen to find yourself near downtown Toronto by the University of Toronto-St. George Campus, this museum is definitely one of the sites you should take some time to explore. Right on the corner of St. George & Bloor St. W., this shoe museum is very unassuming from its meek entrance and subtle branding.
Rest assured what you get when you go inside is like passing through the glass mirror in the Chronicles of Narnia, a whole new “shoe” world.
Not that it needs the sale pitch, but just picture 5 floors and 4 galleries showcasing over 1000 shoes (of a 13,000 collection) which represent more than 4,500 years of history. On the BSM website, it says, “For every shoe, there’s a story”. Well, whether it be politics, fashion, function, culture, sports, social status or anything in between, you’ll definitely find the full-length story here.
Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture is the story that entranced us, for obvious reasons. If you fancy yourself as a sneakerhead and/or historian, we highly recommend you check this out. If you’re one of the fortunate people, this travelling exhibition might be in a museum of a city near you before it ends September 2017. If not check it out online.
“A way to explore self-love and comfort with being who you are. I feel society makes us so focused on others and what we should do or look like we forget to feel beautiful and we don’t love ourselves as we are enough.” - Lindsey Marshall
Unique, enigma, rare, extraordinary… Just a few adjectives (technically enigma is a noun, but give us a pass) that belong in a museum of individuality. Now, as to what nouns these adjectives are describing is up to you to determine. But we do have one suggestion: you should make them about sneakers. Better yet, you should make them describe someone looking fly in sneakers while doing remarkable things. And if this person just so happens to actually be in a shoe museum while they’re being remarkable… It doesn’t get any better than that.