What's On 2023

Dressed To Impress

Dressed To Impress

Take a step back to the 1980s and experience the nostalgia and excess of the times. Now on view.

In Bloom

In Bloom

A celebration of how nature has provided meaning and material for shoemaking across both time and place.

All About Shoes

All About Shoes

Take a walk through the the fascinating history of footwear.

Media Room

Media Room

Find our latest press releases and more information on media images and interview requests.

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Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto produced some of the most innovative and forward-looking fashions of the 1980s. Yamamoto’s designs often featured deconstructed silhouettes, oversized proportions and neutral colours such as grey, black and white. This sharply contrasted with the structured power suits, vivid colours, and maximalist looks that were popular in Western fashion design for much of this decade. This pair of futuristic shoes features rope-like uppers and simple rubber soles.

Japanese, c. 1980s
Photo by: Margaret Mulligan

See these shoes on display in our exhibition "Dressed to Impress: Footwear & Consumerism in the 1980s". Sponsored by @boom973toronto @thetorontostar @designlinesmagazine @thekitca @azuremagazine

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Join us for Frosty Footwear at Toronto`s favourite shoebox this holiday season. From December 27 - January 6*, make a winter craft, or an 80s crafts (in celebration of our newest exhibition, Dressed To Impress). Try your luck in our 80s Shoebox Bingo, and get to handle shoes from across time, and from around the world in our Hands-On History program! ...

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During World War II many countries restricted the use of traditional shoemaking materials such as leather and rubber. Shoemakers throughout Europe and North America turned to cork and grass for fashionable women’s footwear including platforms. Discover how nature has provided meaning and material for shoemaking across both time and place in our exhibition "In Bloom: Flowers and Footwear" ~ on view until October 6, 2024.

North American or French, late 1930s to mid 1940s.

Photo: Margaret Mulligan

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This evening sandal incorporates many aspects of late 1930s glamour. The exuberant shell-like ornament that rises up on the sides of the foot was perhaps designed to make the wearer feel like Venus emerging from the sea. In 1939, Bally was awarded an exhibition prize for this shoe.

Bally. Swiss, 1939.

Explore our online exhibition "WANT: Desire, Design and Depression Era Footwear" on our website now.

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On November 24, 1989 @reebok released the Pump, which featured a lightweight internal inflation mechanism that allowed the wearer to customize the fit of the sneaker. Throughout the 1980s, Reebok battled with Nike and LA Gear to be the top producer of athletic footwear. The release of the Pump meant that at the close of the decade, Reebok reigned supreme.

American, 1989. Collection of Reebok Archives.

On view in our exhibition "Dressed to Impress: Footwear & Consumerism in the 1980s". Sponsored by: @boom973toronto @thetorontostar @designlinesmagazine @thekitca @azuremagazine

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Stopping by the Santa Claus Parade this weekend? 🎅🎁 Don`t forget we offer FREE admission on Sundays! Try on our funky footwear and enjoy shoe-themed crafts and activities for the whole family to enjoy. ...

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The fun doesn`t stop at the Bata Shoe Museum 👠Step into a time machine and journey back to the 80s with our newest exhibition, workshops and events.

November 30 - Vinyl Record Paint Night
December 5 - Totally 80s Trivia
December 14 - Totally 80s Movie Night

Exhibition Media Partners

Exhibition Partners
Design: @arc.and.co
Fabrication: @pro_x_event_tradeshow_events
Lighting: Glenn Davidson and Nick Davidson
Greenery: @ryefloralco
Video Production: J. Gus Aguirre
Electrical: Danik Electrical Construction Co.
AV: @rp-av

Exhibition Window Vinyl

Opening Party Partners
Beverages: @drinkcrawler @fogorigbrewery @islanddiaz
Vinyl: @rollout
Performances: @citydancecorps
Performance Wardrobe: @reebokcanada
Photographers: @ryanemberley @kennedypollard_
Videographer: @lilacmediagroup
AV: @rp.av
Catering: @foodudes
Arcade Games: @abbeyroadentertainment

Video by: @lilacmediagroup

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Immerse yourself in the style, culture, and nostalgia of the 1980s by checking out our new exhibition "Dressed to Impress"!

Sponsored by: @boom973toronto @thetorontostar @designlinesmagazine @thekitca @azuremagazine

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In addition to creating shoes for new activities, many late 19th century manufacturers began to offer specialty items to make footwear comfortable. Ceramic boot warmers were designed to be slipped into women`s boots and filled with hot water to warm them. Carriage boots were worn as overshoes and were designed to keep wearers warm in unheated carriages. Most examples have quilted lining and fur trim but this pair by François Pinet features ostentatious ostrich feathers to trap the heat. See these shoes on display in OBSESSED: How Shoes Became Objects of Desire ~ on view until April 2024.

French, c. 1900-1910

Photo: Darren Rigo

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Travel back to the 80s by checking out our new exhibit, Dressed to Impress! We open at 12pm today and offer FREE admission every Sunday 👠

Sponsored by: @boom973toronto @thetorontostar @designlinesmagazine @thekitca @azuremagazine

Photo: Margaret Mulligan

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