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Is Fashion Footwear Jumping the Shark?

Date: March 01 2018

By: Rob Marfell

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Designers are artists. Any creative who takes themselves (too) seriously will tell you that ‘art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.’ With fashion that usually means that as soon as a style finds an audience, designers will exaggerate it until it’s too weird to be palatable. 

These Gucci sneakerboots appeared last week and we can’t stop looking at them. Are they art? It's hard to say. They seem to have more in common with a car crash than an oil painting, and we can't help but wonder: is fashion footwear jumping the shark?

How long can the hulking couture trend hold out? Balenciaga — who took the trend to new heights with the Triple S — don’t seem to think enthusiasm will wane, evidenced by their investment in a Chinese production Triple S lite.

Vetements head designer, Demna Gvasalia, who is also the creative director for Balenciaga and gifted at trolling fashionistas, has almost single-handedly led footwear down the rabbit hole with dirty, $900 Reebok Pumpssneaker socks, and shoes that look like modest military tanks.

It’s all been fun to watch — we even like the Triple S — and some of the copycats have been excellent. The rebirth of bulk has made sneaker culture a safe place for PUMA’s Tech Runner to return, and for designers like John Elliot to recreate the Air Monarch

Zara's 'Contrasting Sneakers with Thick Soles'


But where is the trend headed? Well, we see Gucci’s new sneakerboot as the canary down the coal mine. 

Like Vetements' designs, the model straddles high fashion and internet culture. ‘SEGA’ font is used with permission from SEGA holdings, a huge sole splays out underneath and a strap hugs the uppers like a jewelled choker. It’s absurd, too far even. But, because it’s Gucci, this look will find legs. People will get used to today’s generous portions, appetites will grow, and Soho will be filled with Mickey Mouse shoes. 

Ah well, it was good while it lasted, but with this Gucci behemoth, consider the shark jumped.

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