Ryan Trembath ’07 Writes First Book About Signature Shoes

When the COVID-19 pandemic caused Illinoisans to quarantine, Ryan Trembath ’07 used the opportunity to follow a lifelong dream – to write a book.

 

When the COVID-19 pandemic caused Illinoisans to quarantine, Ryan Trembath ’07 used the opportunity to follow a lifelong dream – to write a book. Trembath bought a typewriter and planned to start a newsletter to mail to his friends for fun. He picked a topic, signature shoes, and quickly realized there was too much material for a newsletter – and for a typewriter. After switching to a computer, Trembath spent hours every night working on completing his first book, Signature Shoes: The Athletes Who Wore Them and Delightful Pop Culture Nuggets. Pre-sales for the book started on 11/2 at eckhartzpress.com and the book will be released on 11/28.

Signature Shoes: The Athletes Who Wore Them and Delightful Pop Culture Nuggets takes the reader to the very beginnings of the signature shoe industry. It then examines the 1980s, when the popularity of signature shoes accelerated, to the ‘90s, when just about every footwear company was producing a signature shoe, to today where Athletes in Major League Baseball, the Women’s National Basketball Association, National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Formula One, the Professional Golfers’ Association, the National Football League, musicians, and even the National Hockey League have their own footwear to go along with the mainstays of the NBA and professional tennis circuits. “Eventually, signature shoes entered all facets of popular culture and were taken for granted by the public,” notes Trembath.

“I've always been into sneakers, especially weird signature stuff and just because I’m interested in pop culture in general,” says Trembath. “Not only is the book about sneakers but it also profiles the athletes that lent their name to a shoe. Trembath notes that the book is full of pop culture footnotes in the book, for example Joe Pesci wore Ewing 33 Hi shoes in "My Cousin Vinny," or Richie Tenenbaum's wardrobe in "The Royal Tenenbaums" was based on Bjorn Borg, who had a shoe with Diadora in the early '80s. 

Trembath graduated from Columbia in 2007 with a degree in Film & Video. Since graduating, Trembath has worked in news and broadcasting.

“Any prospective student thinking about attending Columbia College should definitely make that leap,” says Trembath, “the facilities are great, class sizes are small, and the instructors are all professionals working in the field.” For current students, Trembath advises, “I waited until I was a senior to get any internship experience. I would tell current students to get as many internships as you can, and as early as you can.”

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Sarah Borchardt
Communications Manager
sborchardt@colum.edu