Put On Your Red Shoes

From Elton John to Beyoncé, from the Spice Girls to MF Doom, from gabber culture to the dancehall scene; all have a place on the Put On Your Red Shoes stage. A feast of recognition for young and old, which at the same time raises the question: what do shoes say about musical preference and identity?


June 7, 2022 - Feb. 4, 2023

ABOUT: Put On Your Red Shoes

Spectacular and extravagant shoes underline the special status of artists. Idols who cannot live without their footwear and vice versa. David Bowie's alter ego Ziggy Stardust couldn't do without red platform boots. Lady Gaga lifts herself to great heights with the most extraordinary heels. And vice versa, artists can turn everyday fashion into something special. Take a closer look at Elvis Presley's loafers. Would these be so iconic if he didn't sing "Blue Suede Shoes" while his hips made groundbreaking moves?


While shoes are important to the identity of artists, artists and music, in turn, also play a key role in the image of shoe brands. Through association with certain musicians, some brands themselves have now become so iconic that they have become part of the unofficial uniform of music styles. Tough Dr. Martens, originally work boots, could not be missing in the closet of a punk but prove anno 2022 their street style potential at festivals like Coachella and our own Dance Valley. Fans of reggae and dancehall, particularly in Jamaica, swear by Clarks. And New York rap formation Run DMC whipped up the crowd to take off their Adidas shoes and keep them in the air.


By now, shoe brands are only too aware of the lucrative power of musicians. They symbolize success, popularity and wealth. The ties between brands and global stars are only getting closer. Brands like Nike and Reebok commission music productions themselves. In addition, they no longer just snare artists as the face of campaigns, but have them co-design. And for the musician, such a collab is also very lucrative. The artists know just as well that they are influencers. They can reach their target audience directly through social media. It is therefore not surprising that musicians are increasingly creating their own brands. For example, Ye (West) has become a particularly influential player in the sneaker field with his brand Yeezy, while Katy Perry markets her own playful and humorous style through her shoe brand Katy Perry Collections.

This exhibition was made possible in part by Mondriaanfonds, VSB Fonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Noord-Brabant, M.A.O.C. Gravin van Bylandt Stichting, Rabobank Stimuleringsfonds and Gemeente Waalwijk.