Here’s What Went Down at Paris Fashion Week Men’s SS23
With Paris Fashion Week Men's SS23 done and dusted, it's time to recap! Between luxury fashion houses, special collaborations and major functions, endless amounts of footwear was debuted.
There were many standouts throughout the week. Louis Vuitton’s menswear team presented what they have been working on, continuing their hot streak of creating 'elevated streetwear'. Kim Jones’ Dior delivered an agile collection, providing balance between current trends and their rich heritage. Salehe Bembury’s launch with Crocs took place, and the triple header collaboration between BEAMS, Paperboy Paris and New Balance took over the city!
Here are the highlights of Paris Fashion Week Men’s SS23.
Louis Vuitton Is on Powerhouse Mode
The SS23 Louis Vuitton menswear show was a spectacular! The scene was set by a Tallahassee-based marching band and live performance from Kendrick Lamar. Their footwear has become a major focal point for the house in recent years and their output has been unrivalled. For SS23, the focus was on a gargantuan clog, with the LVSK8 and massive snow boots also in tow.
Their idea of ‘elevated streetwear’ continues to be the main theme. While it was the first men’s collection designed without Virgil Abloh, his presence was felt throughout the show, from the set, to the energetic designs and intricate references. His legacy lives on in the house of LV, made evident by his team sharing an emotional walk of the runway at the conclusion of the SS23 show.
Still, it remains to be seen who will be taking on the role of creative director at LV…
Paperboy Paris Can Party!
What a release! Paperboy hosted their latest collaborative drop with New Balance and BEAMS. NB920s and NB1500s were served up at their 137 Rue Amelot location! Paperboy is mostly known for their epic selection of sandwiches and coffee, but they're a stalwart of the fashion and sneaker space too! As one of Paris’ cultural hubs, their store was packed and the vibes were on point. The BEAMS crew were out in full force, as to be expected, Paperboy and the Japanese label have a close relationship having collaborated on multiple occasions.
Kings of tasteful design, Paperboy and BEAMS went low-key on their NB920 and NB1500. Each have similar palettes, mismatched panels and the logo of each party is seen on the tongue. The two shoes commanded a line of sneakerheads that went around the block!
Dior Mixed Tailoring with GORP
Kim Jones’ Dior trod a fine line between traditional outdoor garb and high-end tailoring for his SS23 vision. Guests were invited to a luscious garden, paying homage to Christian Dior’s childhood home in Normandy. Models graced the runway mixing modern streetwear trends such as GORPcore – outdoor-geared apparel – with tailoring that referenced the Dior of old. The footwear selection was one of the strongest to date, moving away from classic sneaker inspiration and into deliberate hiking influence.
Stimulated by recent trends, the highlights saw takes on outdoors-geared silhouettes with technical fabrics, intricate webbing and rugged soles. The hybrid around-the-campsite model seen worn with knit socks made the biggest impression, looking as if Crocs and Merrell had a lovechild.
Y-3 is Back!
Y-3 appears to be in the midst of a comeback. It was back in 2002 when legendary Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto and adidas merged the worlds of sportswear and fashion, creating Y-3. Responsible for bringing avant-garde to the mainstream, Yamamoto sprinkled his all-black flair on the sneakersphere, coming up with creations such as the Qasa. It was a pivotal moment in time for adidas and the sneaker industry in general. In recent years though, their impact has waned.
Many feel nostalgic toward Y-3’s designs, so a comeback would be big! Spotted during Yohji Yamamoto’s SS23 show was a behemoth platform Superstar, indicating that Y-3 are finding their feet again.
Kiko Kostadinov Kept it All In-House
Kiko Kostadinov has shown time and again that he’s on track to becoming one of the menswear greats. Holding his show in the Lycée Henri IV, a Parisian public school, his collection held intricate references to his home country of Bulgaria and its history with the Ottoman Empire.
While there were no branded projects with ASICS, Kostadinov’s in-house footwear continues to be a talking point for menswear enthusiasts around the globe – seen strutting down the tile-laden runway was a sneaker which hosted a midsole similar to that of the GEL-Kayano 14. The upper boasted intricate lacing details with a synthetic hexagonal build – very Kiko! Keep your ears to the streets for these.
‘Internationally Known, Locally Respected’
Bodega and New Balance have a long history and their latest ,NB574 ‘Internationally Known, Locally Respected’ released early at a Paris pop-up. Tees and tasty food were served up alongside the nappy suede-clad 574. Bodega also hosted a boat party, celebrating the retailer and New Balance’s relationship. If you missed out on hitting the Paris pop-up, pairs of the 574 will arrive via the Bodega web store July 15.
Sneakerness Came to Paris
Among the sneaker-specific events going on in Paris, there was Sneakerness, Europe’s top sneaker and lifestyle convention. Combining forces with DRP this year, there was not only a swathe of clean creps but a basketball court and skate park too. Sneakers were the main focus, but apparel from a slew of independent designers were also up on display.
The Swoosh was a heavy presence, dominating the feet of attendees and many sellers stocked with tonnes of Nike and Jordan Brand products. Plenty of collections were there to be viewed, namely, Chris from Retro Kicks, who had rare infant-sized pairs like the Air Jordan 5 ‘Grape’ and the Nike Sweet Dream with its matching tin and socks. Stacks of unreleased heat was caught on-foot too, with the ,Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Low ‘Reverse Mocha’ spotted IRL. Let’s hope Sneakerness continues to be a fixture in Paris.
Salehe Bembury x Crocs Pulled a Crowd
There’s no doubt that Salehe Bembury can pull massive crowds for his collaborative sneaker launches and his Paris Crocs debut was no different! Sitting front and centre was the highly anticipated ‘murdered-out’ version of his signature Pollex Clog. Leaked earlier this year, the Paris pop-up was the first chance that fans had to secure their size. Another NB colab is also on the way for the designer, Bembury teasing a NB990v2 while in the City of Lights!
In addition to the above, honourable mentions also need to be addressed for those individuals and brands that brought an element of surprise. One of the most interesting takeaways came from experimental brand Mowalola, who actually have a New Balance collaboration on the horizon. Their SS23 show titled ‘Burglar Wear’ showed a duo of NB9060s.
Comme des Garçons are a regular collaborator in the sneakersphere and at PFW they showed their Homme Plus and Shirt collections. While only a few sneakers were shown on the runway, they look to be reviving the Nike Terminator.
Next up is Kolor, headed up by Junichi Abe, the Japanese label has worked collaboratively with adidas and hit the runway with interesting asymmetric sneakers. KidSuper came through with Zellerfeld, debuting a 3D-Printed ‘Heal Your Soul, Heel Your Sole’ concept!
Feng Chen Wang is the Chinese-born, London-based designer causing a stir in the high-fashion sneaker space. She’s quickly become a heavy hitter, collaborating with both Converse and Jordan Brand. For SS23 she went all out with models strutting her PFW show in a flurry of new Air Max models and bejewelled Air Force 1s. We even caught the debut of her upcoming Canada Goose colab!
Paris definitely brought plenty of heat but the Footpatrol x Saucony event was a serious scorcher! Celebrating the launch of the 3D Grid Hurricane, the crowd and the ambience were immaculate. Finally, the A-COLD-WALL* and Converse relationship continues to go from strength to strength with the launch of the Crazy Sponge Crater.
Catch us on the streets of Paris next season!