Item of the week: the statement sneaker

What it is:

While sneakers have never really fallen out of fashion since their incorporation into trend-led streetwear in the 1990s, they have adapted to become staples of modern fashion. And their inclusion on the runways for AW23 has taken this one step further, with many brands taking on the popular shoe style in eye-catching ways. This includes the use of contrasting colours often utilised in panels on the shoe, and included in various details, like laces and soles. It isn’t just sportswear brands that are taking the style on. High-end designers are also getting in on the gig, hoping to snap up a stake of the growing sneaker market with striking styles that link to their own visions.

Why you’ll want it:

Nowadays, sneakers are no longer worn solely by those in the sports sector. They have merged into all consumer groups, making them one of the most popular shoe styles around. Much of their popularity is backed by cultural figures, like musicians and sports personalities, who often have an influence on what styles are currently trending. Many styles offered by brands come in unisex silhouettes, decreasing the barriers that can often be present in other shoe styles. Furthermore, new technologies and a demand for personalisation have made the sneaker something of a statement, resulting in bold designs for the fashion-forward consumer.

Where we’ve seen it:

For AW23, many brands took the sneaker on via notable collaborations, a common practice among brands that are looking to combine both technology and consumer groups. Sacai, for one, partnered with Nike on a remix of the sportswear brand’s Air Footscape, complete with asymmetrical lacing and distinct styling. Meanwhile, for its collection centred around growing up, Louis Vuitton presented a series of sneakers found in dazzling metallic tones and oversized shapes, matching its elevated take on streetwear. Botter, on the other hand, went even further with experimentation, exhibiting 3D printed shoes made in collaboration with Reebok and HP. The brightly coloured designs came complete with over-the-top wavy soles that formed a whole new shape for the classic footwear.

How to style it:

The sneakers rejuvenation means that it is no longer a shoe specifically saved for sportswear. In fact, many styles now draw no links to the industry and instead have been fashioned for casual purposes, making them suitable for almost any occasion. This means one can sport a statement sneaker with just about all outfits, for any time of day, as long as it is suitable of course. For statement shoes, a factor that could be considered is that of the bold use of colour throughout the shoe. To ensure a clean incorporation of the style, try and match the colours in the pattern of an outfit to that of the shoe to bring together the look in an effortless way.

The statement sneaker is a footwear piece that can really be taken on by just about any consumer. For this season, brands have made the item to be eye-catching and therefore a stand out addition to both the casual and sports wardrobes.

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