Style Recap: Sneaker Takeaways from NYFW SS19
As New York Fashion Week wraps up, it’s time to unlace that footwear and take stock. What did we learn? Are Nike still the kingmakers of the sneaker world? Are we all irrevocably stuck in the 90s? Did Justin Bieber swipe his jawnz from Joe Dirt’s wardrobe?
Sneaker Freaker tracked the six major sneaker trends of NYFW to determine which way we'll be walking in 2019.
The React Element 87 is already sneaker of the year, Nike’s deconstructed silhouette picking up on aesthetic cues left by Virgil Abloh and ramping them up to 100. The diverse build was lovingly adopted across NYFW 2018. The silhouette has already dropped in several colourways, but it’s Jun Takahashi’s Undercover remix that’s now generating the most heat.
The 90s still reigns king, the street and runway both rocking throwback silhouettes that have dominated the sneaker scene in 2018. Hi-vis Yung-1s, 'Bright Citrus' Air Max 93s and Hanson tees were all on display. Sitings of clean, monochromatic NMDs, sock-like fits and Vans Old Skool perhaps signal a slow shift towards more minimalist builds, but it’s going to take a concerted effort to dethrone the hefty soles stomping across 2018. Yes, the 90s continue to persist in our memories like a hazy, innocent dream punctuated by chunky silhouettes and bold, ironic fits.
LeBron James, Ben Simmons and Justin Bieber at John Elliott's presentation was the most loaded moment of New York Fashion Week, the three amigos repping the Jordan 1 Off-White 'UNC', Air Max 1 ‘Animal’ and React Element 87. But some thought they were struggling in the heat; Bieber was roasted for his resemblance to Joe Dirt, while others took offence to Simmons' jeans. In fact, the whole squad are wearing the thousand-yard where-did-I-go-wrong stare, including Whoopi Goldberg (maybe it’s got something to do with those inexplicable Buffalo lowtops).
Balenciaga continues to flex on the luxury sneaker market, the Triple S showing no signs of slowing down as the over-the-top build nears its one-year anniversary. Balenciaga's polarising silhouette was well-repped during NYFW, those with deep pockets now with a multitude of colourways to choose from (the latest looking like your baby cuz designed it in a sandpit). The Triple S helped shape the hefty silhouettes we're seeing in 2018, and a range of lighter, cheaper builds were seen in and around the runway, including adi's popular Falcon, PUMA's recent Thunder Desert, and FILA's Disruptor. But it's Balenciaga's Triple S that lords over its luxury peers.
Drake was right when he put checks over strips on Travis Scott's ‘Sicko Mode’. NYFW provided a stylistic microcosm for broader sneaker trends in 2018, with the Swoosh flexing on all competition in regal TNs, monochromatic Monarchs, Sean Wotherspoons, and Virgil Abloh’s unreleased Halloween Blazers. Our personal favourite? Serena Williams x Off-White ‘Queen’ collection.
We’re already living in the future. After Gucci, Balenciaga and Moschino blew minds with their futuristic runways in Milan, New Balance are now looking to install algorithms to judge style. NB installed 360-degree cameras in a SoHo booth, using AI to analyse ‘colours, shapes, patterns, styles and accessories’ to form the basis of judgement during NYFW. Those ‘defying the norm’ were gifted with a pair of New Balance sneakers, while those rocking antiquated choices were transported to an undisclosed location for ‘reformatting’.
Our only lingering question?
Why does the future look so much like the past?