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The Evolution of Justin Bieber's Sneaker Style

Date: September 21 2018

By: Cesca Benson

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Justin Bieber was catapulted into the limelight in 2009, having been discovered on YouTube and moulded into a popstar. Almost a decade since (Jesus, where has the time gone?), he's grown up in front of our eyes and on our screens. He's had countless looks, countless hairstyles, and has gone through more shoes than most of us will own in a lifetime. But his recent appearances — all unkempt hair, sloppy garms and questionable footwear — have us asking, ‘how did we get here?’. Is married Justin free of the pressure of courting tween fans, just letting out everything he's been keeping hidden for eight years? Or is he just trolling us all?

With no definite answer in sight, let's just settle for the fun of revisiting some one his best (and more questionable) choices.

Biebs 2009 1
Biebs 2009 2

Breakout star

Ah young, innocent Justin with your side swept hair and angelic voice...

Plucked from his lounge room in Canada and thrown onto the world stage, his popstar uniform of choice is what any 15-year-old would've chosen in 2009: a hoody, flat cap, and brightly coloured high tops. Supras were a staple in his rotation (though the occasional Osiris crept in), be it the Vaider or Chad Muska-designed Skytop. The 'fit said 'wholesome' and 'clean-cut', but the garish shoes added just enough 'rebel' to win tweens' hearts and their mothers' approval at the same time.

Biebs 2012 1
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The Middle Years

Sometimes a haircut can make all the difference, and when JB got the chop, everything changed. Gone were the boyish bangs, and in their place, a manicured quiff. He was a big boy now, cashed-up and intent on changing his squeaky clean image. He re-emerged as pop's bad boy. Unsurprisingly, his threads and sneakers levelled-up. Bandanas, chains and bucket hats befit his newfound rapper friends, while his beloved Supras made way for Givenchy, Lanvin and Margiela high tops. 

Biebs 2015 1
Biebs 2015 2

Biebs finds Purpose

After a couple of run-ins with the law and subsequent turn to Jesus, newly-baptised Justin dropped Purpose and cleaned up his image. Instead of rocking studded or metallic high tops, he went back to basics and started favouring Vans. His silhouette of choice was the Slip-On — triple white in particular — and he could be seen sporting the classic skate shoe on the reg. 

Biebs wasn't immune to the Yeezy fever which had taken hold of the sneaker game. Like us, he was partial to the Yeezy BOOST 350. However, unlike us, he wasn't afraid to thrash them skating.

Biebs 2017 1
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Expensive normie

After the internet famously dragged Biebs for getting white-boy dreads, he went full buzzcut and, in the process, full normie. But, with his stratospheric fame and squillions of dollars, it was really, really expensive normie. The t-shirt? Supreme. The distressed jeans? Fear of God, thank you very much. The shoes? Vans, Nike or a little bit more FOG for the flex. Say what you want about JB, but he knows what he likes, and he sticks to it.

Biebs 2018 1
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The (d)evolution of man

So, we’ve arrived in 2018 and at JB’s current look. And boy, what a look. From a distance, it looks like he hasn’t tried at all — and he probably hasn’t. His hair is grown out and greasy, his clothes don’t fit properly and look thrown together. But on closer inspection, you realise that ill-fitting jumper is Gucci and the scuffed shoes are Air Yeezy IIs (if they’re not hotel slides, that is). Maybe he's trolling us all, figuratively flipping the bird to the media that won’t leave him alone — hat's off to him if that's the case. Or, the now-married Justin has reached the age and maturity to just be who he wants. Good on him either way.

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