When Octogenarian Hypebeast scholars in Google University, Oxford, (trust us, it is going to happen) look back at the current trend for’fugly’ trainers, they’ll note that one special pair over all had a lasting, profound influence on the footwear choices of this contemporary, post-Brexit man. Demna Gvasalia (he of Balenciaga and Vetements fame) is a designer that has shaped modern silhouettes and provoked style debates over perhaps any other imaginative in the past 3 decades.
When other creatives or well-tailored luxury CEOs talk things like’disruption’, to whom they are actually referring is Gvasalia, or certainly his trademarked aesthetic: carrying classic staples such as the ubiquitous hoodie, a pair of normcore father jeans, even just a long-sleeved T-shirt and adding his own genius design glitches. Gvasalia’s take on’style’ shoes — the Balenciaga‘Triple S’ coach, first shown in Pairs at January 2017 – is quite simply the coolest, most provocative artefact to emerge the menswear catwalk in modern times. (And if you’ve ever been to a Craig Green show that is saying something.) The’Triple S’ is Patient Zero for a luxury shoe industry currently worth hundreds of millions of dollars; they’re the Nike Air Jordan’s, or Reebok Classics of their time.
You’ve got, of course, been wide-soled’awful’ trainers before. They marketed their shoes as something a punk would play golf in: huge, barge-wide white bottoms that made the wearer look like a children’s entertainer, or even a cross-country skier. The’Triple S’ is also a hybridpart running shoepart trekking boot, the only appears to be produced from three separate sneakers, all having been’melted’ into a single multi-layered puddle of rubber. The effect is of a trainer that seems to be multiplying from the bottomdown. It is a mille-feuille of a shoe. A shoe that includes’pre-scuffed’ – how’s that for trainers as high art?
Once the trainer eventually dropped in September 2017, the style junkies went tonto: therefore much clamouring hasn’t been seen above men’s shoes since Saint Laurent (beneath Heidi Silmane) introduced the high-heeled’Wyatt Harness’ boots in black suede. Those looking to the reasons for such trendy hysteria will be wise to be aware the Cedric Charbit, currently CEO of Balenciaga working alongside Gvasalia, was a person key into the reinvention of Saint Laurent beneath Silmane. Designers may design, needless to say, but somebody has to make sense of all the merchandise and make all that bonkers imagination shoppable. The Balenciaga’Tipple S’: a cultural indicator whose significance will achieve as broad as the amount of its many, layered parts.