The shoe district in Waalwijk opens festively with Put On Your Red Shoes

Shoe Quarter Waalwijk, renovation and architecture by CIVIC Public Architecture (Photo: Pulles & Pulles, Jeroen Pulles)

On June 28, the opening of the renovated Skokvarter will take place in Waalwijk. A dynamic place has been created in the west wing of the nationally protected Kropholler complex, where craftsmanship, innovation and creativity meet. You learn all about shoes and the materials they are made of in a surprising way.

The former Dutch leather and shoe museum has been transformed into the Shoe Quarter, an ambitious museum concept aimed at 35,000 visitors a year. The renovated Skokvarter is based on three pillars: Museum, Make Labs and Knowledge Center. Everything revolves around the development, use and impact of shoes and leather in the present, past and future.

The museum opens with a bang

In addition to three permanent exhibitions, there is also a changing exhibition twice a year. To give the opening extra shine, the exhibition program starts with a festive theme: the influence of music on footwear, seen in the light of music culture from 1950 to today. The title of the opening exhibition is Put On Your Red Shoes: Idol-Icon-Influencer. The exhibition is a recognition party and a surprise for young and old. It consists of 3 parts in total.

Part 1 focuses on idols like David Bowie, Elvis Presley, Madonna, Freddie Mercury and Lady Gaga and their attire and lifestyle. Part 2 zooms in on brands associated with music movements or musicians who have achieved iconic status, such as Dr. Martens, Timberlands and Clarks Wallabees. Part 3 illustrates how today’s pop stars present themselves as influencers: how they respond smartly with their own brands to fans’ need to approach their idol.

The exhibition also shows the connection between big international stars and Dutch designers. Striking include the red sandals by David Bowie aka Ziggy Stardust, the Chopines by Jan Taminiau for Beyonce and the white boots by both Agnetha and Björn from ABBA.

As part of the opening exhibition Put On Your Red Shoes: Idol-Icon-Influencer, activities and workshops from all over the world are arranged.

Manufacturing laboratories and knowledge center

In addition to the museum, the shoe district also consists of Craft Labs and a knowledge center. In Make Labs on the ground floor, designers, shoemakers, leather workers, artists and professional students are engaged in design and experimentation. In this publicly accessible space, which also houses the café and museum shop, you can watch as visitors and get to work in various workshops.

The knowledge center on the 1st floor has a library, teaching room, archive, auditorium and material cabinet, where you can feel, smell and research different types of leather and leather alternatives. It is a place where you can absorb all the knowledge in a varied way.

Program 2022-2025

Skokvarteret has put together a variable, accessible and informative program for the coming years.
The emphasis is alternately on leather and shoes, on other uses of leather or on new technology. The starting point
is Skokvarteret’s collection, crafts and specialties.

– Put On Your Red Shoes: Idol – Icon – Influencer (June 28, 2022 to February 5, 2023)
– The magic of cuir bouilli (spring 2023)
– Future Proof: the sneaker’s future (autumn 2023)
– René van den Berg (spring 2024)
– Leather jackets (autumn 2024)
– Fly Me To The Moon: Moon Shoes and Leatherette (Spring 2025)

Shoe quarters
Rådhuspladsen 1
5141 KG Waalwijk

Waalwijk shoe store
Masayoshi Sukita, David Bowie, 1973 © Sukita courtesy of The David Bowie Archive
Waalwijk shoe store
dr. Martens x Sex Pistols, 2019 Loan from Marco van Boxtel © Schoenenkwartier
Waalwijk shoe store
Elton John – Collection of the Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada. Image © 2022 Bata Shoe Museum
Waalwijk shoe store
Shoe Quarter Waalwijk (photo Pulles & Pulles, Jeroen Pulles)
Waalwijk shoe store
Nike x MF Doom, Dunk High, 2007, lent by Thomas van Vliet © Schoenenkwartier
Waalwijk shoe store
Zeynep Day, Alzúarr, The Cece worn by Mary J Blige ao, Alzúarr © Schoenenkwartier

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