Long ago days of 2017, ugly sneakers made their way to the top of the fashion world. Parisian brand Balenciaga catalyzed this dubious trend of booming, bulbous sneakers with its gigundo Triple S model. The spooky shoes, which sold for $ 850 and sold immediately after launch, sat on a three-tiered sole and appeared to be have already walked 100 miles with them before reaching the store shelves.
None of the shoes that followed reached the pinnacle of usability set by the Triple S. But the lesson from Balenciaga’s surprising sneaker – that extreme designs can sell extremely well – still resonates today.
At Saks Fifth Avenue, men’s sneakers, including some drastically dramatic examples, have been one of the fastest growing categories in recent years. “We see extreme colors selling just as well as clean white or black sneakers,” said Saks senior vice president Louis DiGiacomo, who called Christian Louboutin’s $ 3,195 Liberace-esque high top shoes style. particularly desirable.
As we move into summer, a new wave of footwear curiosities is upon us. Italian label Sunnei sells the 1000 Chiodi (Italian for 1000 nails) sneaker, a bumpy shoe in technical fabric that looks like it caught a bad case of measles; Nike has its Space Hippie sneakers, which sit on massive foam rubber soles; and Gucci just released the Basket, a 1980s basketball shoe in a bold Buzz Lightyear color scheme.
Jonah Weiner, the co-creator of the popular men’s fashion newsletter Blackbird Spyplane, compared this extravagant sneaker craze to the ‘funky’ tie wave of the ’80s, when wise businessmen indulged in garish ties. In today’s more casual moment, baffling sneakers play a similar role. “This is the place where the wackiest and craziest designs can be smuggled in, and where a customer who doesn’t consider themselves particularly adventurous when it comes to fashion could afford to go a little crazier. “