The last time sneakers were on the runway. They were an afterthought. At fashion week, almost every designer is showing off. The Blue Basket, Dior’s B23, and the Triple S all created viral hits. In the last round of the Paris Fashion Week SS22, a traditional game of shows rather than digital presentations, designers showed off their experimentation to the fullest. It was a season where brands experimented with their signature styles. In Margiela, for example, elongated styles like the Tabi ankle boot were the focus of the collection, proving that long styles are here to stay for at least another season.
Raf Simons is known for his impressive footwear collections on the runway, but strangely he chose to step back from any collaborations or product line. A formal derby with a punk twist is what they prefer to traditional derbies. Designed with a grungy black-on-black aesthetic and messy stitching around eyelets. For a more subtle Simons vibe, pair formal wear with subverted formal wear. Additionally, Givenchy, Lanvin, and COMME des GARCONS designed looks.
Matthew M Williams, the designer behind Givenchy’s SS22 collection, teased us with these kevlar runners last month before taking a whole look at them on the runway. While some would compare the Givenchy style to Kanye’s YZY KNIT RNNR, Givenchy’s is more structural and considered. A highly supportive and traction-enhancing sole unit is constructed entirely of knitted material. Still, the shoe’s upper features a triangular stud set with a plate integrated into the bridge for additional traction. Givenchy’s Monumental Mallow and other technical releases followed a lace-up appearance on the runway – thus, it’s safe to anticipate both pairs to release soon.
You certainly couldn’t avoid Balenciaga’s dominance if you were browsing Instagram before its meltdown yesterday. With a cameo from The Simpsons, PFW capped off one of its best shows, and a heavy presence of boundary-pushing footwear was evident throughout both presentations.
Specifically, Balenciaga joins Crocs with a black gothic clog featuring a metal kick plate and metal hardware along with the entire sole unit. The Fall 2021 knight boot collection also included 3D-printed 3D slip-ons in more medieval looks, while the new Justin Bieber Runner Sneaker featured a technical tire appearance.
In a fashion move reminiscent of menswear, the metal-clad heels the brand has become well-known for have been added to bulkier, more utilitarian outsoles and heels. The designer’s slip-on clogs with strappy straps in black reveal a softer side of himself, leaning on formal cues rather than the usually interpretive approach.
COMME des GARÇONS
COMME des GARCONS is a collaborative melting pot where Rei Kawakubo’s COMME des GARCONS brings Salomon for SS22. The shoes came in multiple variations – from the simpler black nylon and mesh slip-ons to the more bare-boned three-tone versions.
They feature black branding on the lateral sides, neatly printed toward the laces. The unique aspect of these shoes was that they pair with branded socks that led the eye to the shoe and then back to the hose, making them look like a single piece when, in fact, they are just low-tops.
Earlier this year, Lanvin unveiled the Curb Sneaker, an Osiris D3-style sneaker inspired by the ’90s. This season, it won’t alter. Some standouts included Batman mask-inspired styles, which see the oversized tongue reworked into the vigilante’s face. Several pairs featured the pair’s signature big laces and blue, glittery, fuzzy takes. Lanvin introduced a couple of new blue, brown, and white runners this season, all in metallic gold hues, demonstrating its continued obsession with footwear from the 1990s and 2000s.
The designer of Balmain’s pillowy slippers, Safa Sahin, has designed them as well. These shoes have been compared to YEEZY’s aesthetic, but they’re a radical departure from the YEEZY look and a clever evolution of the padded slider.
There is a rubber sole unit on top, while the upper is covered in soft padded leather that helps hold your feet in place. Balmain branding appeared on some with debossed interlocking locks and on others with gold foil. In any case, we do know that these look very comfortable and resemble Yohji Yamamoto’s 2004 Adidas-collaborated platform sandals.
This season, Miu Miu x New Balance is the winner of the most unexpected collaboration award. Despite dominating the sneaker industry through its lauded collaborations over the past few years, the footwear giant rarely partners with top-tier labels like this one. Miu Miu’s new take on the 574 has white and beige uppers with highly distressed and frayed details. NB branding is found on the tongues of both models, and gum outsoles complete the look.