Year Released: 1984

I used to actually play tennis in these, but they blew out fast. So I was getting a new pair almost weekly. Yes. That's how it happened. Schooly D, Rakim and I would go to the store and buy some. We would drink champagne on the way. I would ghostwrite most of their rhymes. Don't tell anyone. Then we would pick Dapper Dan up, and play doubles at Flushing Meadows. Yessir, that's my story. The Gucci Tennis doesn't really need any introduction. Maybe some clarification for anyone who felt good about buying S. Carters, and maybe now thinks Gucci is ripping off Reebok. The Gucci Tennis seems like it was the perfect reaction to the convergence of hip hop fashion, euro sport fashion and chunky tennis shoes like the G Vilas, Lendl Supreme, Rod Laver, etc. Whatever prompted Gucci to do this, they nailed it and inspired straight up material lust-- need. This was a stick-up kid shoe. These shoes were so far from accessible that they made no sense to even consider, unless you were making obscene money and were willing to spend it on one pair of shoes. I saw them once. In the window at a store called Boyds, which was a frequent Joey "Skinny Joey" Merlino stop. Stylistically, the shoe was spot on. From the material mix, to the logo hit on the tongue, it's no wonder Reebok "paid tribute" with the S. Carter. An interesting aspect of the shoe was the laces. They were round laces that looked almost trail inspired. Some day, I would like to understand the process behind this shoe and how it came to be.