Sneakers have gone from sportswear accessory to luxury item in just a few years. On the catwalks of the biggest fashion houses, sneakers are emerging as the new luxury accessory to adopt. A look back at a successful fashion transition.
In the 1970s, basketball left the sports grounds to conquer that of fashion. From Stan Smith to Converse, sneakers intended for sports practice are the new darlings of the fashion world.
In recent years, the luxury industry seems to have taken hold of this must-have in sportswear fashion to revisit it in its own way. With the return of the mania logo, luxury brands no longer hesitate to affix their signature to designer sneakers.
Are sneakers the new luxury accessory to conquer the hearts of fashionistas? In any case, this is what a recent study by the Stylight search engine suggests. The five most coveted sneakers of 2019 are all from designer labels.
From white Alexander McQueen platform sneakers to Gucci signature Ace sneakers, the ranking only confirms customer appeal for luxury streetwear. In 3rd place in this Top 5, we find the now iconic Balenciaga Triple S. A model that has, on its own, relaunched the trend of dad shoes, until then stuck in the nineties.
This pair of sneakers of disproportionate proportions, presented on the Balenciaga catwalk in 2017, is spreading en masse on Instagram. An omnipresence which is enough to make these unusual shoes, sold at a price of 850 dollars, a real object of envy.
A masterstroke for the Spanish house managed by Demna Gvasalia, former artistic director of the Parisian brand, Vetements. Sneakers with lugged soles are making their mark in an era where comfort is key. With the fashionable rise of jogging and the decline of the stiletto heel, luxury is redistributing the cards and seizing the codes of streetwear.
As we would invest in a luxury bag, we now offer a pair of logo sneakers. The Walk’n Dior in monogrammed fabric, the Run Away by Louis Vuitton or the Rhyton at Gucci, the sneakers display luxury signatures that attract an ever wider audience.
The rise of basketball in the luxury industry can also be explained by fashion collaborations which have played a key role. Puma x Balmain, Adidas x Prada, Reebok x Vetements or even Converse x Off-White, the associations between sportswear brands and luxury brands have exploded in recent years.
And yet, according to Virgil Abloh – artistic director of the Off-White brand – luxury streetwear is running out of steam. In an interview with Dazed magazine at the end of 2019, the artistic director of men’s collections at Louis Vuitton, believes that the streetwear trend has had its day. : “In my opinion, streetwear is going to die. How many hoodies and sneakers can we still accumulate?”
Credit photos: Joel Muniz