Street fashion is folk memory of first loves. Grow up in Milan in the 1960s and you’ll remember looking up at perfectly fitted jacket-shoulders on the piazza. If Brixton 2012 is your stomping ground, brocade leggings will be your madeleine de Proust. Personally, as a mid-90s son of Northumberland, it’s the footwear of Kickers that holds eternal resonance.
Acid-house style rose slowly up England like the rainbow distillation of ink through lab paper. These shoes and boots were comfy, bright and tough, with a particularly democratic edge that saw them seized by ravers, in the spirit of the halcyon days of France '68. Like Eclipse jeans and heat-sensitive tie-dye, by 1995 they had crossed the Watford gap separating the schoolkids from the clubbers. Of course, I knew nothing of their history, any more than any of us at the school disco heard the ecstasy strains in the Now That’s … chart hits. It was just moulded crepe soles and hanging leather-tags kicking from the bus backseat and down estate streets: black loafers for the lads, pastel patents for girls.
Kickers has resurfaced in recent years. A street-but-sweet look that worked for grime. A folksy-yet-radical look that worked for bass music. Christopher Shannon talked about just this – and pastel shades – on Dazed Digital a few months ago, when he unveiled his collaboration with the brand. “So much stuff is generic I suppose I like it when things have a bit more identity," he said. "Otherwise how do we identify the time we live in?”
And so now we come full circle with the re-release of the classic Legend boot. The original style, designed by Kickers' Daniel Raufast and Jacques Chevallereau back in 1970, in four colourways, as seen on the feet of our models above. True romance, for the old school.
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