Trend Report: Silver Keeps Surfing

via @aah1x

Colour trends come and go, and in 2023, if there’s one proving to go the distance, it’s silver. Whether or not it’s your favourite colour, it’s not hard to notice the ubiquity of the hue in fashion today. Silver has long been a popular colour in sneaker circles, continually used by many top brands. And it’s unsurprising that fashion’s renewed interest in silver has spilled over into the sneakersphere. With the upcoming Wales Bonner x adidas Samba set to release, it’s time to set the silver linings aside and unpack why the shade is as shiny as ever in 2023.

Silver Goes Way Back

We recently asked the Sneaker Freaker community what their favourite silver sneakers are. As expected, there were deep cuts and strong brand diversity. Multiple entries naturally took us back to the 80s with the adidas Micropacer and the Nike Vandal.

Other legacy brands like New Balance and ASICS have also long employed the shade on their shoes. Sneakers like the New Balance 860v2 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 14 being adopted for lifestyle purposes is no new phenomenon, but new life has inarguably been breathed into ‘tech’ aligned sneakers like these thanks to today’s trend cycle. Archives like Dope Shape show just how much Y2K silver heat there is to be unearthed and just how fast it is to be picked up.

Honourable mention goes out to last year’s anticipated Nike Air Max 97 ‘Silver Bullet’ retro, with the release also celebrating its quarter-life milestone.

dope shape new balance silver sneakers
via dope shape

Why So Silver?

Connotations are subjective, but the colour silver has some that are pretty universal. Of course, the colour silver is associated with all things futuristic and technological. Further to that, silver can have connotations of cosmic themes. From a purely visual perspective, silver is reflective and eye-catching, making it an alluring choice for those wishing to stand out. It’s also considered a neutral colour, making it versatile too. In one way or another, all of the above has applied to footwear at some point. Sneakers dressed in silver over 20 years ago look as futuristic as ever today, inarguably transcending them to timeless status.

freja wewer asics collaboration
via @frejawewer

As Seen on the Runways

We’ve established that silver has long been adored in sneakers – and it still is. Just look at how quickly the Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 ‘Silver’ sells out and how much silver is making its way onto Nike Zoom Vomero 5s. Collaborations like the Freja Wewer x ASICS GEL-1090v2 from November last year even took silver to the max. And within the wider world of fashion, it’s been experiencing a renaissance all of its own. According to statistics, the hashtag #silveroutfit has surpassed over three million views (and counting) on TikTok alone. Furthermore, #metallicoutfits has also been doing the numbers, clocking 595,200 views on the platform too.

prada slingblack heels silver
balenciaga le cagole bag

Things started to pick up around the holiday period, with analysts believing the metallic shade was a popular choice for the festive season. But five months into the year, silver has shown no signs of polishing off. Its rise has been a rather slow burn, though, and evidence of its trajectory might even predate Christmas, as pinpointed through the popularity of certain cult luxury items.

Looking back at recent data collected via Lyst, their most popular items are an indication of where things might have started bubbling. In Q2 of 2022, Balenciaga’s silver hardware-equipped Le Cagole bag ranked as one of the top items of the time, commonly embellished with silver diamantes and in many shades of metallic. In Q4 later that year, Prada’s logo slingbacks in silver ranked as one of the hottest items, along with Diesel’s silver-accented B-1DR belt. In Q3 2022, Balenciaga’s swift oval sunglasses in silver were also a top item. It’s no secret that luxury brands dictate global fashion trends, and hot items like these (met with viral celebrity moments) no doubt sparked renewed interest in the shade.

wales bonner adidas samba silver
via @una_jung

Silver Surfing Today

Fashion and sneakers aren’t mutually exclusive. If anything, the silver trend is running parallel across both facets in real-time. And luxury fashion sneaker colabs – if nailed to perfection – can be the bond that sticks them together for life. The freshest example of that is the imminently releasing Wales Bonner x adidas collection, which includes the adidas Samba Classic, with its enlarged tongues and uppers decked out in all-over flashy silver. Given that Wales Bonner is one of the hottest brands in both fashion and sneakers right now, the collaboration is undoubtedly set to keep silver surfing up the charts for months to come.

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