January was the month that footwear reigned supreme. We saw the likes of amphibian chic slip-ons, minimalistic Birkenstocks and ultra futuristic 3D printed kicks – all in the space of two jam packed fashion weeks across Paris and Milan.
But where do we draw the line for avant-garde Fashion Week footwear? How many cross-collabs can possibly be left in the universe? Will we eventually regress back to caveman-like tendencies and simply send models down the runway in dusty bare feet? Maybe. For now though, let’s take a look back at some of the best footwear features spotted over at the Milan & Paris Menswear Fashion Weeks.
BIRKENSTOCK X FEAR OF GOD
Birkenstock has taken a leaf out of a Brutalist design book with their latest concrete-esque footwear offering. Presenting their ‘Los Feliz’ shoe at a chic presentation during PFW, this minimalistic take on their classic 1774 collection was designed in collaboration with Fear of God and represents “the unique hillside enclaves of Los Angeles” with the shoe’s stoney, earth-toned features.
FROG CLOGS AT JW ANDERSON
When JW Anderson’s FW23 runway show in Milan kicked off, the event ensued with pillow princesses and bunnies. The best part, though? Three pairs of rubberised, frog faced clogs, featured in pond blue, swamp green and water lily yellow – with a clear nod to beloved British rain boot brand Wellipets.
HOT PINK MONOGRAMMING AT GUCCI
Gucci’s highly anticipated return to Menswear Fashion Week in Milan post-Alessandro Michele was an ode to going back to basics, with the return of their iconic Princetown fur-lined loafers featuring during the show. However, the standout footwear spot was a hot pink newcomer in the form of a ruched-fit, monogrammed, cowboy-esque pair of boots (which also came in blue, in case you’re not a fan of the Barbie-core phenomenon).
1017 ALYX 9SM KNOW THEIR BOOTS
“Alyx and boots just go together omg”. These were the words of one IG user under 1017 ALYX 9SM’s page when the label took to Instagram to share BTS images before their Milan Fashion Week show. The boots in question spanned across three pairs: one, a chunky, cleated goth pair; the other two, knee-length cowboy boots sprayed with graffiti by artist Mark Flood. One IG user added “What I gotta do to get my feet in these”, a query that we’re sure many others would also like to know.
RAINS X ZELLERFELD
Scandi brand Rains took to the Paris Fashion Week runway with a debut of not one, but two viral moments. Whilst their conjoined raincoat certainly made a statement, we were more interested in the unexpected (but welcome) footwear collab with Zellerfeld for an ugly-core renaissance in the form of a pair of 3D printed platform shoes dubbed ‘The Puffer Boots’.
SASQUATCH-CORE AT DOUBLET
Doublet championed the yeti this year at PFW, debuting a range of hairy, typically weird (yet mesmerising) footwear options. Whilst we’ve seen a range of furry shoe entries this year from the likes of Mihara Yasuhiro and Dsquared2 (not forgetting last AVAVAV last year) Doublet’s were more of an ironic take on the usually Y2K streamlined footwear.
BOTTER X REEBOK
Stay tuned – we may just be witnessing the future of 3D printed footwear. Botter teamed up with sportswear giants Reebok to offer us a glimpse of what sneakerheads may be wearing over the next few years. Enter: the Venus Comb Murex Shell Sneaker, in collaboration with HP. Featuring a honeycomb/seashell hybrid sole in a myriad of kaleidoscopic colours, this was an innovative collab that stood out in Paris.
3D GALORE @ DIOR
Kim Jones entered Dior into the world of 3D design processes with the house’s PFW footwear entry, via an ultra lightweight, perforated boot in blacked out meshed material and featuring a Dior monogrammed sole. Designed completely using 3D printing technology, this innovative extension of Dior Savoir Faire was a standout look on the Parisian Runway.
SACAI X NIKE MAGMASCAPE
Sacai and Nike joined the roster of brands dishing out killer footwear collabs this season, this time with the debut of an updated pair of Nike Air Footscape Wovens, dubbed the ‘Magmascapes’. The original sneaker’s contemporary silhouette was still there, but utilitarian additions and brand new bold colour ways added a welcome Sacai twist to the cult shoe.
KODAK’S BUNNY FEET @ NAHMIAS
No, you can’t buy these – but you’ll probably find some version of them online. Kodak Black’s ten-piece capsule with Nahmias titled ‘California Poetry’ featured bunny elements throughout the collection, including many genuinely innovative design elements. At the end though, the stars of the show were undoubtedly these fluffy, bunny head slippers. Kodak really said cosy-core forever.
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