Why Sandy Liang x Salomon Is a Top Collaboration in 2023
American-Chinese, New York-based fashion designer Sandy Liang might operate within the avant-garde womenswear space, but she’s no newbie to the sneaker world. Liang teamed up with Vans in 2021 to create her own 90s-inspired collection, which included the Authentic, Half Cab, SK8-Hi and the Style 73, but her go-around with Salomon is inarguably a bigger feat – and not just because the global conversation says so. From being a full circle moment to claiming its position as Salomon Sportstyle’s very first women’s collaboration, Sandy Liang’s Salomon XT-6 and RX Moc 3.0 are a top move of 2023. Let’s get into why.
Full Circle Moment
Sandy Liang’s Salomons may seem out of the blue to industry outsiders, but it’s actually a full-circle moment. Anyone who’s been following the brand or caught glimpses of editorial shots or runway recaps will know that Liang has been a longtime Salomon supporter. Her top styles have been the XT-6, as worn by models on her Spring 2022 showing, as well as the RX MOC 3.0, which Liang also often styles with her garments.
Given Liang’s cult following, currently commanding an Instagram following of 236K followers and boasting a roster of global stockists, there’s no doubt she has established influence. GORPcore is no new phenomenon in fashion and sneakers, but Liang has seemed to carve out her own aesthetic with the widespread trend, which juxtaposes rugged footwear with delicate pieces. There’s no doubt that Liang has, in part, been responsible for this microtrend, and now Salomon have even dropped a dedicated cottagecore line that naturally styles its pairs with white linen skirts and crochet cardigans. More on this later.
With Liang going from everyday Salomon wearer to the pairs ending up on her brand’s runway, it’s not hard to see how this colab is a very organic one. Given that it involves one of the hottest footwear brands of the moment, this full circle is definitely one for the books.
A New-Age Collaboration
Fashion’s crossover with sneakers is yesterday’s news – luxury-fied sneakers have somewhat become the bread and butter of the industry. But it’s not just high fashion brands tapping into sneakers for their piece of the pie either. Underdog brands like Danielle Guizio and Lisa Says Gah! have been tapped by the likes of Reebok and Vans, respectively – receiving their flowers to curate creations that go hand-in-hand with their customer base. But there’s bigger hype about the Sandy Liang x Salomon colab – much bigger than the hype for her Vans colab, too. You’d think there was a major marketing rollout or an in-your-face push for the pairs, but like the partnership itself, the strategy has been considered and timed to perfection.
Women in the sneaker industry are working towards an equal space across all facets, whether that’s in design, collecting, retail, sport, and more – not to mention the online digital community of female sneakerheads is more united than ever. Brands are recognising this and tapping into the female customer base hard and fast, creating dedicated women’s releases and colourways, acknowledging International Women’s Day and, for the most part, trying to do better. So what is it about this collaboration that has attracted eyes all over the world? Perhaps it’s the perfect concoction of immaculate timing met with the fact that this is Salomon Sportstyle’s very first women’s collaboration.
On the other hand, collaboration is a mark of success and recognition, and there’s nothing like an A-grade colab to prove a point. Earlier this week, the Sandy Liang x Salomon collaboration saw an exclusive launch at their Orchard Street boutique, and since then, there’s been palpable online hype for the pairs – a PSA from the brand even notes that both silhouettes sold out in five minutes and mentions how ‘surprised’ they were that they sold out with such speed. While the wider release is still yet to happen (it’s locked for May 5), the fact the early release achieved sell-out status so fast is already a huge W. And in a way, it legitimises this moment in which women are levelling up the sneaker playing field – together. Let this be a reminder never to underestimate someone wearing a bow-adorned, baby pink skirt with triple black XT-6s.
The Sandy Liang x Salomon XT-6 and RX Moc 3.0 see a global release on May 5. See our Where to Buy Guide here.