How do you trace the cultural history of a trainer? How do you weigh out its influences? How do you trace its trajectory? When it comes to a shoes as iconic as Gazelle – a sneaker favourite – it’s hard to delineate the impact since its launch in the 1960s. Gazelle has impacted allsorts of subcultures over the decades. Taken on by the Mods, the Reggae scene, right down to Britpop specialists, Gazelle is a beacon that lights up cultural highlights of our recent history.
But more importantly, and more than just a footwear icon, Gazelle has had a life of its own – a course determined by no other than its wearer. The creative ownership is a fluid, fluctuating thing: creating something new in ways of wearing, styling, meant that Gazelle has been witness to some of the most innovative cultural moments of our age.
More than re-tracing, then, Gazelle is a symbol of re-appropriation. For all things subcultures and areas that thrive upon changing the course of culture, Gazelle embodies the creativity of the wearer. One eye set firmly on things to come, beckoning as it does for any creative soul out there to remember the future. Appropriate what has been done to make it your own.