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The origins of tap-socks: “Their use dates from the 15th century”

Since 2017, it’s impossible to miss the tap-sock: in rap clips, at the feet of footballers, on the carpet of fashion shows… From Kim Kardashian to Paul Pogba, they have become essential in the world of streetwear, so much so that a college in Saint-Denis has prohibited its wearing within its establishment. In her book “Clapper-sock and corset: 60 objects that make fashion”, co-written with Céline Cabourg, Mathilde Berthier traces the origins of this style, far from being new, and long marginalized.

“The first images of the tap-sock appear on 15th century frescoes, says Mathilde Berthier, where we see monks or pilgrims putting on socks in their clogs, especially before going on a pilgrimage. A religious aspect that remains anchored today in certain places of worship, according to the author. In the 20th century, this outfit will be reduced to a corny image, referring to the cliché of the German tourist walking around in socks in his sandals.

At the end of the 2010s, a reversal occurred: “Many accessories such as bucket hats, bananas or flip-flops, socks that were once made fun of, became trendy,” asserts Mathilde Berthier. From now on, we have fun with fashion”. We have to go back to 2017 and rapper Alrima’s clip, entitled “Claquettes Chaussettes”, and its 22 million views, for the assembly to come back to the fore. Then followed the 2018 World Cup and the look of Paul Pogba in the documentary Les Yeux dans les bleus, sporting the previously much-maligned style. From Balenciaga to Louis Vuitton, no luxury brand will miss out on this look, following in the footsteps of Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus and some fashion week designers. The circle is complete, and, “among young people, continues the author, the outfit logically becomes a mark of belonging to this tribe of streetwear”.

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