Sneakers have been worn as athletic shoes for almost a century; they fell into urban fashion in the early 1980s, turning from training equipment into an object of pride for adolescents and a means to make life more comfortable for feminists and senior citizens. But sneakers really became a hyper status subject less than five years ago. How outrageously expensive sneakers from luxury manufacturers will remain fashionable for a long time, let’s discuss!
Purely in Sports?
The first confident step on the podium was made by the sneakers, perhaps, in the spring of 1983, at the show of British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood: to show her Witches collection (“Witches”), she shod the models in the Reebok brand women’s (first especially female) sneakers. This fashionable demarche, which has already become a textbook one, was provoked by a transport collapse that took place a year earlier due to a driver’s strike in New York: women went to work en masse on foot, in sneakers, and it turned out that “it was possible”, it’s not necessary to walk in the city certainly in model shoes, comfortable shoes can be used not only on a hike or on weekends outside the city.
The transition of sneakers “to the urban position” was also facilitated by the spread of basketball and streetball and workout sports grounds in the residential areas, the fashion for jogging in parks and yoga in the fresh air. It is logical to come to a training session on the street in the same shoes that you will be practicing in, and if you can walk in it from home to the playground, then why not take a walk after classes, without changing shoes, with friends or going to the movies? And there is already not far to compare whose sneakers are cooler or show off in front of the girls.
Universal teenage insanity on sneakers has created the phenomenon of “sneakerheads,” collectors of this type of shoe. Manufacturers of sports equipment, for which sneakers were at first a regular part of the assortment, very vividly realized that young people wouldn’t hunt for any item of clothing as much as sneakers, and began to attract youth idols to their advertising, and then release advertised limited and capsule collections hunted by sneakerheads. The benefit was twofold: on the one hand, “limits” are sold more expensive, on the other hand, media noise is created and word of mouth is operating, which existed before social networks, and in the late 1990s, when this latter appeared, it gradually turned into a competitor traditional fashion media.
Somehow, quite imperceptibly, it turned out that the teenagers were growing up, and their hobby remained unchanged. Boys who wore Adidas Superstar or Nike Air in the 1980s did not want to give up their habits in adulthood. For some time, the office dress code became a real bastion in their path – especially in the highly profitable banking, consulting and legal fields. To come to work in sneakers even in casual Friday, persons of this kind of activity have long been considered unthinkable. But the “digging” was already in full swing: popular performers, a rapidly developing creative class and “nerds” from Silicon Valley rushed to the rescue.
From practicality to excessiveness
In 1995, the 30-year-old and already super popular singer Björk told in all lifestyle interviews that she was an avid collector of sneakers: the performer was interested in collecting them from almost the legendary release of the first female Reebok in 1982 and tried not to miss a single interesting model. Björck had already become the idol of millions, and a considerable part of them were girls. Sneakers as an idea, too, were made trendy.
On the set of fashion backstages, fragile and unearthly beauties-models drank mineral water and changed their shoes from incredible and traumatic-looking studs and platforms to comfortable sneakers. Studs can be worn by no means all, and sneakers – easily, which was done. Another important step on the path of sports shoes to the fashion Olympus was helped by the frenzied logomania of “fat zero”. Everything that could be read on the name of the brand-manufacturer was selling well – and on sneakers, the logos always looked more than natural.
The so-called athleisure style was rapidly gaining momentum in the 2000s: urban fashion in a sporting style, things seemed to be athletic, but not intended for hard physical education. Adidas Corporation and its affiliate Reebok honestly divided its product portfolio into two parts: sports and purely urban (Adidas Originals and Reebok Classic). At the same time, both directions continued to issue “limits” and collaborate with fashion designers: for example, Adidas by Stella McCartney clothes and shoes, produced since 2005, are theoretically designed for sports, and not just street-levelling.
Italians quickly found their bearings in the zeros: some of the world’s leading manufacturers of footwear and leather goods have always sought to expand and diversify the assortment. Respectable men’s brands like Ermenegildo Zegna added sneakers from genuine leather in restrained colours, without redundant details, and more catchy models for motorists in the casual collection. Fashion brands led by Prada, on the contrary, began to make sneakers that were quite provocative at that time with large recognizable logos: a hit, in particular, was the Gucci model with textile jacquard inserts on which the brand logo was woven – crossed letter G.
Running for Luxury
Logo sneakers were popular but did not cause frenzied excitement during the zero and first half of the 2010s. Luxury brands such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton “carried out ” (especially by fanatical Chinese and Japanese buyers) even “sneaked out” sneakers, but for the time being in the absolute spotlight, it-, This That Thing, remained bags.
Fendi, 2.55 Chanel, Keepall Louis Vuitton, and, of course, Birkin, a textbook Hermèsian, went for a bag hunting. For the time being, only the studs – “louboutins” and “manolos” (aka “blanques”) of popular silhouettes caused comparable excitement over the shoe part. For example, those Manolo Blahnik, which was worn on the screen by Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex and the City.” Carrie, which is characteristic, barely wore shoes: either the preferences of the creators of the series, or the specifics of the advertising contract with its sponsors forced her performer Sarah Jessica Parker to go stilettos even for a baguette. Only Charlotte ran in sneakers – and only on her constant runs in Central Park.
Everything changed in mid-2010 thanks to the restless patriarch of modern fashion Karl Lagerfeld. In January 2014, he held a show of the new collection, and models – according to the plot of a visitor invented by Carl as a decoration for the Cambon Club night club – appeared on the catwalk in sneakers. Absolutely special sneakers. It was not a limit or collage of a sports brand or ordinary shoes, simply decorated with the Chanel logo. These were the it-sneakers, the first in a short but impressive line of their own kind.
The breakthrough of Lagerfeld’s idea was that, unlike the already numerous permanent and sporadic capsule collections of sports brands with designers, it was a completely independent story: not some speculative Adidas x Chanel, Nike x Chanel or Puma x Chanel, not a special collection the same McCartney or Yamamoto with Adidas, and Chanel aka Chanel, a desire item that did not share its popularity and media support with any other brand. With one volley both the hearts of the Chanelemans and the hearts of the Sneakerheads were struck, and the fashion house with history took a giant step to win over a young audience – millennials and “Generation Z”. 64 hand-sewn pairs have set the bar for luxury homes. It became clear that you won’t be fed up with some collaborations, it’s necessary to do it-sneakers in-house.
Is the Finish Visible?
The management and designers of other successful fashion houses, too, did not want to miss a piece of the pie: for nearly five years since the Cambon Club show, there were sneakers with plastic flowers from Dior, “shoes from the Star Wars” Archlight by Louis Vuitton, sneakers- Speed Trainer socks and massive dad’s sneakers Triple S from Demna Gvasalia from Balenciaga, breaking all sales records for the second year. Prices for these pseudo-sports products are over 1000 Euros, while Guasalia, for example, honestly admits that Triple S is being shipped in China: the demand is such that there will be no European capacity to satisfy it.
At the same time, fashion experts are already starting – quietly, but – to say that the bloated, as the sole of the already mentioned creations of Gvasalia, demand for luxury sneakers can not last too long without bursting. Actually, all this has already been observed more than once on the example of the same it-bags, of which only Birkin uses enviable and irreplaceable longevity, and even then thanks to an artificially maintained deficit and memorable recording queues. Only really practical things, such as the Burberry trench coat, can be always popular, and you can’t call “father’s sneakers” practical: walking in them is difficult, impossible to run, in dress codes, even the most liberal ones, they fit with a stretch.
Another point is that any sweetness if overestimated, becomes cloying, and any extravagance easily overheats to the point of absurdity. If in the ugliness of Triple S there was at least the charm of novelty and at least conditional, but the measure, then the latest ideas of fashion houses regarding sneakers, otherwise you will not define how “make an enthusiast pray to God – he will break his forehead.” Roberto Cavalli sneakers look like sprawling silver pancakes, Jimmy Choo covered pretty inexpensive rhinestones with rhinestones looking over the entire surface of sneakers, except for a massive platform sole made of muddy-looking plastic, and Versace sandals from the next year’s summer collection at an ugly shoe contest can claim victory in two categories – and among sneakers, and among sandals.
In turn, the idea of wearing sneakers with literally everything, including a printed silk dress on the floor, as in the Valentino show, thus expelling excess pathos from the ensemble, was also a little boring to everyone. Yes, this is an option, but as a joke repeated twice ceases to be funny, so sneakers worn a hundred times with an evening gown cease to look original, and clients, even from the Z generation, grow up and begin to sigh slowly according to old-fashioned elegance, “blanques” “And even” labutenah “(although doubts about their convenience have not disappeared).
However, of course, a shoe wardrobe cannot be limited only to high-heeled boats or (in the case of men) derby and oxford shoes: anyone who has ever changed bast shoes for boots will not refuse the latter even with an excess of patriotism and love for his native bast. Of course, the sneakers will survive, and, of course, women, especially mature women, will cheat on boats with them, no matter how popular the boats become again.
But the trend towards reasonable consumption and generally “awareness”, on the one hand, and the economic crisis, on the other hand, cannot, in turn, affect consumer habits and unhealthy passion for running shoes for several thousand dollars, albeit fueled by the marketing departments of multinational companies. Most likely, the hype around limited collections and luxury sneakers will subside, leaving the battlefield behind convenient base models at an affordable (for each market segment) price.
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