In his shoes: For men, 2014 has seen a number of new, covertable sneaker styles arrive in stores. - AFP
There is a ready luxury market for men who have come to fetishise sneakers the way
women lust for heels.
THE windows of Colette, the cool Parisian boutique, attract the attention of passersby the way pastries do elsewhere in this city.
This season, the wall of men’s sneakers, now a mainstay in the store’s side-street facing display, seems to have caught the most eyes.
Here sit rows of tricked-out tennis shoes: from Vans in limited edition Star Wars prints; to Raf Simons’s colour-blocked designs for Adidas; to Buscemi’s handcrafted leather high-tops embellished with a strap and 18-karat gold lock system that resembles an Hermes bag. Price: RM3,350 (which could buy more than a dozen pairs of Converse All Stars).
Buscemi isn’t even a year old and already the Los Angeles-based brand has claimed its place in the rarified circle of status-symbol sneakers. But then, 2014 has seen a number of new, covetable styles arrive in stores and just as quickly sell out, from the R.T. collection for Nike by Givenchy’s creative director Riccardo Tisci to Simons’s take on the iconic Stan Smith. By fall, Pharrell Williams and Kanye West will unveil their designs for Adidas – and both are generating as much anticipation on fashion and sneaker blogs as just about any new album.
Indeed, in the past few years, many designers, musicians and visual artists (see: Tom Sachs’s NikeCraft Mars Yard shoe from 2012) seem to have collectively decided to channel their creative energies into the humble sneaker. In part, they are aware there is a ready luxury market for men who have come to fetishise sneakers the way women lust for handbags and heels. (Unlike women’s fashion shoes, sneakers do not adhere to seasonal cycles, which helps explain why the flow of new releases seems without pause.)