Icarus Originalia, July 2018

Prouder was a free exhibition at the HENI Gallery in Soho, London, during Pride Week (4th to 10th July 2018). Curated by Tony Marnach (a.k.a. DJ Fat Tony), in collaboration with Adidas Originals, the exhibition aimed to raise awareness, and vital funds, for The Albert Kennedy Trust – the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity. The Albert Kennedy Trust provides safe homes, mentoring, training and support to young people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, having come out to their parents, caregivers or communities.

Marnach asked 27 ‘LGBTQ+ creators and allies’ to redesign the iconic Adidas Samba trainer. Participants included Kate Moss, the Chapman Brothers, Elton John, David Beckham and Blondey. Blondey’s shoe, Icarus Originalia, took inspiration from the Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus, referencing youthful determination and unhappy consequences. In the myth, Icarus and his father, Daedalus, fashion wings out of candle wax and feathers to escape imprisonment, but Icarus flies too close to the sun, which melts the wax and he falls to earth.

The shoes were covered in wax, on to which a mixture of feathers were applied. The inside of the shoebox was lined with reflective gold card to resemble the sun (also making the box look like a cartoon treasure chest when under-lit). The text on the Originals shoe and packaging was replaced with the Latin translation.

Icarus Originalia sold at auction for £2,050.

Photography: Mark Dalton