Sneakertopia: Street Culture and Sneakers

The more expensive the sneakers, the demand is sky high! That’s how people nowadays see sneakers. The street culture of sneakers has gone up to another level of marketing where limited edition is the top tier of sneaker addicts.

New York City is the birth of hip-hop culture and it made a huge impact and influence on pop culture and to the sneakerhead subculture. Sneaker culture is now mainstream and athletes, musicians and celebrities plays a huge part as an influencer. Most dominant brand of sneakers are Nike and Adidas – they collaborate with other brands or personalities to become more exclusive and expensive. Legendary NBA player Michael Jordan is one of the best example of sneaker and brand exclusivity. His brand of shoes are one of the most expensive and sought after and they’re a staple in fashion and culture. Despite the low supply and high demand of Air Jordans, the Air Jordans price is consistently high over the years.

That’s Sneakertopia – a dynamic collection of global street culture. It’s the first exhibition in Asia and it includes exclusive artworks and historical sneakers. The Sneakertopia started in Los Angeles and New York and founded by Emmy Award producer Steve Harris and Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur Steve Brown.

The Sneakertopia: Step Into Street Culture, houses over a hundred of limited edition sneakers of different brands, artworks and installations from sports, entertainment, music and fashion scene. Also, the exhibition includes 70 murals, large-scale installations and designs by acclaimed global street artist.

And with Sneakertopia, the street culture arts, graffiti and sneaker style has combined their elements into something street and fashionable.

The Sneakers

⇧ Singaporean sneaker artist and streetwear designer Mark Ong, also known as Mr. Sabotage or simply SBTG, showing his personal collection of vintage Air Jordans 1’s and Dunks.

⇧ Nike Air Mag Sneakers. The Nike Mag from Back to the Future Part II was released in 2011 and is one of the most sought-after sneaker of all time. The Mag comes in 1,500 pairs and is only available via auctions to support the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. In 2016, another 89 pairs were released and are now valued at $50,000 and above.

The credibility and success is through brand collaborations. An example was the limited edition Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Low OG SP Black Phantom which was a huge success line of sneakers. Musician and businessman Kanye West released his own line of sneakers that is not for the average people. His sneakers alone are marketed as expensive and is very in demand.

The Frugal Pop Up Gallery

Frugal Pop Up is a parody of the hype that surrounds the streetwear world and a play on the lifestyle brand, Supreme. The streetwear brand started in New York City in 1994 and is now a huge and an expensive brand in the retail world. Thanks to their marketing style wherein each item is sold in small numbers and no restocking. By limiting the supply, price at resales are sky high.

The Supreme brand is not just sneakers and clothings, they have huge catalog products and collaborations to different brands as collectibles. From Supreme x Coleman Mini Bike, a Supreme x Fender Guitar, dog bowl, fire extinguisher and others.

The Frugal Pop-Up

Supreme sneakers.

The Gallery

Back to the Future 4

⇧ “Back to the Future IV” (2019) by American graphic designer and visual artist McFlyy (Paul Shelton). The mural set in the year 2120, features sneaker-wearing characters flying hoverboards across a fictional future city.

Mural & Bench

⇧ “Give the Girl the Right Shoes and She Can Conquer the World” (2019) by Mimi Yoon. She is a LA-based Korean contemporary artist known for her evocative and sensual artwork. In this painting of women wearing their sneakers as symbol of self expression and identities, Yoon managed to highlight their femininity and strength.

⇧ “Red and Blue Team Benches” Artwork by American Visual Artist Ron Bass.

A Walk in Time

⇧ “A Walk In Time” by TYC (Tell Your Children). TYC led by Deon Phua, Kevin Too, Russel Ong and Lydia Yang, is a Singapore-based creative studio that produces visual content through illustration and design.


⇧ “Mando” (2023) mural by Tommii Lim. The mural pays homage to the TV series, “The Mandalorian”, with the depictions of the characters Mando and Baby Yoda.

Neon Art

⇧ Neon aerosol art by designer and street artist Adam Fu (Adam Fujita). Adam uses neon as a metaphor for “keeping the lights on”, as his pieces light up the streets.

⇧Giant Skateboard by Steve Harris.

⇧ “KICKflip” by Jonas Never. This mural honours skate superstars Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero and Lizzie Armanto for their contribution to skateboarding and sneaker culture.

⇧ “Sneaker Culture” (2019) by 3D artist and designer Ben Fearnley. This mural of a sneaker is composed of various items including a boombox, basketball, and a reel of film, that are symbolic of the explosion of sneaker culture across the globe.

Sneaker Stone Lions

⇧ “Sneaker Stone Lions” Sculpture by Singaporean street artist Tobyato. This is the first artwork that will welcome you at the exhibition entrance.

So, let’s talk about sneakers. What are your favourite sneaker to wear to make your footprint on the world?

That’s all for now and see you on my next post! Thank you.

Sneakertopia is at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands Singapore. Running date is from 25 February 2023 to 30 July, 2023.