One of the most striking characteristics the Netflix music-driven drama “The Get Down” is just how authentic the 1970s-inspired costumes are. Whether it’s Dizzee (played by Jaden Smith) or Shoalin, the entire South Bronx crew looks like it stepped straight out of a time machine.
If you’re wondering how the team behind “The Get Down” pulled off such a realistic portrayal of the ’70s, costume designer Jeriana San Juan says that it’s got a lot to do with the show’s sneakers, and that several major brands can be thanked for their contributions.
“It was so, so important to get the authenticity right when it came to the sneakers mainly because sneaker culture really stems from that period,” San Juan told Pedestrian.TV.
Although San Juan and her costume team could have simply relied on easily sourced retro product, she knew that she wouldn’t be able to pull the wool over the eyes of true sneaker enthusiasts. “We couldn’t stand for fake because we would have got called out on it right away,” she said.
Instead of taking a shopping trip to the local mall, San Juan reached out to brands such as Puma and Converse, which happily provided old-school footwear from their archives.
In one such case, Puma was able to deliver an original 1977 Clyde sneaker in red suede, but there was only a single shoe that would fit Shoalin, played by Shameik Moore. To rectify this, directors used the vintage ’77 version for close-up shots and switched to a modern retro pair for wide angles.
In addition to the original vintage sneakers provided by Puma and Converse, Pro-Keds also lent a hand by specially producing 10,000 pairs of shoes in their original form from the ’70s.
All in all, San Juan estimates that the costume department for “The Get Down” boasts as many as 20,000 old-school sneakers.