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Adidas (German, founded 1924)

Cleats, 2022

Black and white polyester and clear rubber




These classic Adidas Adizero soccer cleats showcase the importance of spikes in sports. Spikes on cleats allow soccer players to grip the ground and propel themselves forward. These functional spikes are seen in other sports, including baseball and football, and provide different levels of grip and propulsion.

Balenciaga (French, founded 1937)

Demna Gvasalia (Georgian, born 1981)

Shoes, spring/summer 2018

White leather and silver metal

Courtesy Albright Fashion Library




These shoes from Balenciaga’s spring/summer 2018 collection suggest the need to deflect the advancements of others. Designer Demna Gvasalia explained, “I wanted this feeling [that] something dangerous is going to happen,” and produced a promotional campaign for the collection inspired by intrusive paparazzi photography. The shoes’ symbolic use of large spikes as a defense mechanism both echo their connotations in punk fashion and speak to an increased need for privacy and space in the digital age.

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