Culture Club

Tux ‘n’ Trainers

At the New Museum’s spring gala, the dress code paired sneakers and formal wear.

At the New Museum’s spring gala, the dress code paired sneakers and formal wear.

The New Museum hosted its 40th annual spring gala last week at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. The event honored artist Chris Ofili and had a “Tux ‘n’ Trainers” theme, requiring guests to pair their formal attire with sneakers. We showed up to ask noteworthy attendees how they chose their footwear.


John Waters

Oh, I don’t know! I wear these a lot. They’re Comme des Garçons—they go with everything!


Jack Whitten

Well, these are homemade. I spray painted them.


Marilyn Minter, Bill Miller, and Cindy Sherman

These are the ones I wear every day!

—Marilyn Minter

I can never ever wear them out.

—Bill Miller

I’m not wearing trainers because I didn’t think it went with what I was wearing!

—Cindy Sherman


 Marcus and Cherie Weldon

I grew up in the U.K., and Adidas were our favorite sneakers because of soccer. I’ve always liked Adidas shoes, and we found his and hers matching.

—Marcus Weldon


Fred Poses

They’re Margiela.


Jacob Banks

I just wanted to be comfortable.


Michael Stipe and Thomas Dozol

I think trainers are stupid, so I wore boots … like a lumberjack.

—Michael Stipe


Marcel Dzama

I was thinking ‘Happy Birthday’ because I got them as a birthday gift. My wife picked them out, so I was thinking ‘Thank you,’ I guess.


Bill Powers and Cynthia Rowley

They were the least beat-up sneakers I had in my closet, and they were a father’s day gift, so they say ‘Best Dad’ in there.

—Bill Powers


Karen Wong and Chris Ofili

(Chris had no comment)

I was looking for sneakers that were futuristic. Future forward.

—Karen Wong


Racquel Chevremont and Mickalene Thomas

(Yes, that’s New Museum’s own Paul Jackson photobombing in the background)

I was thinking of height when I put on these shoes. I wanted to be tall and towering and Amazon-like.

—Mickalene Thomas


Simon de Pury

I chose them because they’re so comfortable. I walk miles and miles because I’m obsessed with this app that counts your steps everyday.


Julian Schnabel and a friend

These are really light.

—Julian Schnabel


Jeff Koons

You know, I like these sneakers. They have a blue, kind of patent leather quality to them and black canvas. I just enjoy them.

(Photos: Antwan Duncan)

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