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The legacy of 80s and 90s basketball shoes (but not only)

And their influence on contemporary streetwear

The legacy of 80s and 90s basketball shoes (but not only) And their influence on contemporary streetwear

"Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure."

The author of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, reminds us that the past treasures things that, if remembered, can still bring us joy. For the last couple of years high profile brands are taking back, renovating them, shoe silhouettes that bring back to my mind beautiful and joyful memories.
In particular, I'm talking about the 80s and 90s basketball shoes, real cult pieces that filled the shoe racks of who, like me, has got past the 35 springs. The striking example are the sneakers that Vigil Abloh designed both for Louis Vuitton last year, as well as for Off-White

The creative director's reference points for the men's LV collection were pretty clear, especially Avia. Avia is an American brand founded in 1979 by Jerry Stubbfield, that in the 80s was on the feet of athletes with the likes of Scottie Pippen, John Stockton and Clyde Drexler. In 1991, Avia filed a lawsuit against Nike, claiming that the running shoe "Air 180" and the baketball show "Air Force 180" were violating Avia's patents. In particular Avia accused Nike of having stolen the "Cantilever" technology, which used a buffer that absorbes the impacts and gives stability. The company claimed that this technology had always been part of Avia's designs, since the foundation in 1979; by the way, Avia and Nike were born in the very same city, Beaverton, Oregon. Right now Avia focuses above all on running and lifestyle. 

Not only Avia, but also many other brands are still influencing the current streetwear scene. In those years brands like Diadora, Converse and Kronos would create high-level basketball shoes, that are still the inspiration for many contemporary sneakers. 

In the mid 90s, another subculture emerges, that of skateboarding, and brands like Vans and Airwalk start stealing the show, and give the opportunity to other brands to surface as well, brands that are still part of today's fashion and streetwear world, and one of these is definitely Osiris. Born in 1996 following the competitors' success, the Osiris 3D was the inspiration (maybe even too much) for the collaboration between A$ap Rocky and Under Armour for the SRLo Black

Find the differences: 

A couple of days ago a brand that we would hardly think of as a sneaker brand, has launched the new version of a 1985's shoe, inspired by the basketball world, and not only. We're talking about Lacoste and its Missouri M85. This revisitation underlines the fact (in case it was needed), that Lacoste is now part of the streetwear scene, and its presence makes perfectly sense. The collaborations with Supreme, M/M, COMME des GARÇONS and Junya Watanabe made it clear that the French brand was taking a step outside the tennis court to adventure in the streets along with the most important streetwear brands. 
The renovation very often comes from looking to the past, take a step backward to take two forward is what we say in Italy, and that's exactly the choice made by Lacoste, the most obvious for many brands in 2018. Remaining faithful to the classic colorways and the signature Lacoste clasp closing system, the new entries are the upper in premium leather and an updated silhouette. What can't be missing is of course the embroidered crocodile that features on the lateral side of the shoe. 

"The past is the sweetest place to visit when death gets closer." It might seem a sad statement, that symbolizes an end. Yes, but it also the synonym of a new beginning. When a brand goes through an harsch period or tries to renovate itself it usually escapes to the past, digs into its archive and finds new ideas and inspirations to be reborn. It's a constant in the fashion world, and it will continue to be like this.