TILT tennis shoes from 1979 are a rare find. Famolare, the iconic 1970s fashion footwear brand, designed them in celebration of the movie, Tilt, starring Brooke Shields.
Continue reading to learn more.
I recently bought my 7th grade daughter a pair of FILA tennis shoes to go along with her large collection of velvet scrunchies, the bright blue Hydro Flask we got her for Christmas, and her big sister’s hand-me-down Fjallraven Kanken backpack. Bridgy is not that into trends including the wildly popular VSCO girl look, however, I encourage her to embrace, within reason, some of the fads of her generation. Someday, she will look back on these touchstones of Generation Z (also known as the Homeland Generation) with great fondness, mortification and/or disdain. I mean, who doesn’t regret huge shoulder pads and parachute pants?
Undoubtedly, there is something to be said for being fully present in, and accepting of, one’s generation. For example, check out this 2017 post, Growing Up In The Suburbs: A Teen’s Memoirs of Life in the 1970s.
Searching for TILT
For many years, I’ve been trying to locate information about a fashion trend that was popular when I was in 7th grade. It was the 1979-1980 school year and I was living in East Texas. My best friend Linda and I loved to talk about fashion including what our friends were wearing and what we wanted to buy at the Longview and Tyler Malls. One day she told me that our friend Cathy, the adorable drum major for our junior high band, had landed a pair of very expensive TILT tennis shoes. Unquestionably, they are the most fabulous tennis shoes I’ve ever seen.
I connected with Cathy several years ago on Facebook. In 2012, I asked her about her TILTS. Here is what she had to say about them:
The TILTS! Coolest shoes ever! My parents bought those for me for making the honor roll. I loved those shoes. I don’t remember a lot about them except that I had admired them in the Longview Mall at the Shoe Show for quite some time.
Like Bridgy’s FILAS, TILTS had a very high platform. They also had the word TILT in giant red letters featured on the outward-facing sides. I finally found a picture of them on Etsy. These are TILTS!
TILT by Famolare
Brooke Shields made TILT tennis shoes famous in 1979, the year she starred as the title character in a movie called TILT. This was a year after Pretty Baby came out and a year before she was featured in the now-famous ads for Calvin Klein jeans. The fashion shoe designer, Famolare, designed a special pair of branded tennis shoes in celebration of the film.
Absolutely, I have never heard of this movie. Blue Lagoon? Yes. Pretty Baby? Ugh, yes. TILT? Nope. Never. What about you? Unfortunately, it’s kind of a disturbing film.
The Movie Tilt
Tilt is about a pinball princess who is a runaway traveling with a wannabe rock star. The teenage arcade wizard camps out at a bar where she’s used to hustle gamblers. In 2018, Shields told Vanity Fair the movie was disappointing and thin. Comparatively, Alec Longstreth, a cartoonist and blogger, called the movie creepy:
“…the only downsides to this movie are…the extremely creepy set-up of having this prepubescent girl running away from home to play pinball with a 25-year-old, male rock-and-roll singer. Not only do they share a hotel room each night, but she is constantly being hit on by other pinball players, all of whom are grown men. It is way creepy.”
In addition, movie critic Richard Winters called the movie too vapid for adults and inappropriate for pre-teens and teens.
Obviously, TILT tennis shoes are very rare movie memorabilia. I never knew! The movie, which has not been released to DVD, is hard to come by. A copy with Spanish subtitles is available on YouTube.
Do you remember TILT tennis shoes?
Do you remember this movie? What do you think of it? Do you remember TILT tennis shoes? What about the pinball culture of the 1970s? Join the conversation on Facebook.