EXHIBIT_REPORT_67_Sole_Zine_Obsession_Style_Place.pdf (7.73 MB)

Sole_Zine: Obsession, Style & Place

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-07-25, 21:35 authored by Kayla Owen, Paul Owen


Sneakers, trainers, kicks, webs, strides, soles, creps, beaters, trabs, or trainees, whatever you call your footwear, there is a particular tribe who are obsessive about theirs... Sports shoe enthusiasts are attached to their possessions unlike any other conscious community.

Sole-Zine is a poster zine project created by Paul Owen and Kayla Owen, dedicated to researching, documenting, and archiving British Trainer Culture. A sub-culture originally created by the Terrace Casuals movement of the late 70’s and early 80’s. Today, the sports shoe is a huge part of fashion’s multi-million-pound industry, with high end brands moving in on the action. Sole-Zine is an ongoing project that digitally archives artefacts, historical photography, magazine references, interviews, and other ephemera associated with British Trainer Culture. It is intended to demonstrate the impact and significance of trainers. From the craftspeople to the unique seekers and the under-represented sectors born out of this culture. Emphasising this much-loved fashion area gives rise to the tribes and cohesive socio-groups who define and are defined by values and tensions around status, belonging, and the need for individuality.

Sole-Zine provides an openly accessible archive of specific cultural and material significance and acts as a living resource and reference point. By initially interviewing craftspeople within the restoration, customisation, and conversion processes and recording the materials, and techniques of the profession, the aim is to preserve the innovation, skill, artisanship, and tradition. This shared dialogue opens new fashion theory and critical debate, on creative practice surrounding fashion and textiles in the light of this ethical and sustainable development naturally evolving within this sub-culture. It also shines a light on a specific under-represented socio-group and a conscious community existing on the periphery of fashion.