Museum of Individuality

“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

If there was a universally accepted “1+1” equation for what sneakers represent, she.lace proposes it should be this: Fashion + Function=Sneakers

Simple enough and yet these two concepts encompass a lot of the different things sneakers can be said to represent (feel free to suggest your own equation in the comments). Then again, every individual has their own conception of what sneakers mean… good or bad. Perhaps that’s precisely the point… sneakers are a form of individuality. For Lindsey Marshall, sneakers might as well be considered 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.”

So what’s in Lindsey’s “museum of individuality”? In the interest of time (and storage space, that costs $$) we’ll only list a few: Educator, entrepreneur – custom jewellery/accessories & bowtie designer, exquisite cook, amateur painter and sneaker enthusiast.

(Sidebar) it’s VERY much worth checking out Lindsey’s work: Lola & Co. Here’s a preview below, and check out @beadedbylola for more handmade accessories.

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 should definitely be one of the sights & sounds you 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.

The exterior of the Bata Shoe Museum located in Downtown Toronto. (Credit: WikiCommons)

Rest assure what you get when you go inside is like passing through the glass mirror in the Chronicles of Narnia, a whole new “shoe” world.

Lindsey entering the Bata Shoe Museum.

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 4500 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 and anything in between you’ll definitely find the full-length story here.

This is the “story” that we became entranced by, Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture. 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 traveling exhibition might be in a museum of a city near you before it ends September 2017. If not check it out online:

When you do check it out, of course, the FIRST section you should read is Women & Sneaker Culture.

Museum of Individuality
Lindsey lacing up her Adidas GLC.

“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.”

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.

Look out for next week’s post, we’ll show you how a bridge can do so much more than just connecting two points.

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