As the skate scene continues to thrive, we continue to see fashion trying to break into the legendary sport. This time around, Lanvin reignites its ‘The Curb’ silhouette, even bringing in Batman to help draw attention to the chunky skate shoe. The Batman x Lanvin collaboration was teased at the recent Spring/Summer ’22 walk at Paris Fashion Week. A full capsule is expected in the not too distant future. But why does fashion continuously push the skate scene motive with collections based around skaters and their culture?
Skate fashion has consistently pushed the boundaries, something that disruptive brands take note of. As a Creative Director, you want your project to be edgy and capture a new, younger audience. Skating has always been the go-to lifestyle to draw inspiration from when trying to attract alternate clients. However, this time around, it seems to be the footwear of said skaters that brands want to capitalise on. The recent boom in the sneaker industry has more than likely piqued the interest of high fashion brands, and they are looking for a way into that marketplace.
Skaters are effortlessly cool, and it would seem they don’t care about their sneakers. Torn up, distressed and worn within an inch of their life generally sums up a skateboarders sneaker. But it is these exact characteristics that draw consumers towards the footwear skaters wear. I take a look at three silhouettes from high fashion brands that show just how much fashion wants in on the skate shoe.
BATMAN X LANVIN ‘THE CURB’
The first sneaker to discuss has to be the recently teased silhouette I touched on above, the Batman x Lanvin ‘The Curb’. ‘The Curb’ silhouette taps into classic 90s aesthetics, borrowing design aspects from the iconic Osiris D3 sneaker that A$AP Rocky himself loves. Chunky laces, padded tongues, and an extreme chunky appearance deliver everything expected of a retro skate shoe.
Bringing DC’s very own superhero, Batman further boosts the appeal of the sneaker to a broader audience. The collaboration opens the door to both fans of Batman and skateboarding, as well as the usual Lanvin fans. The vibrant purple and black colorways complement the collaboration perfectly, even if the oversized Batman-shaped tongue may be better left on the catwalk.
LUCIEN CLARKE X LOUIS VUITTON ‘A VIEW’
Virgil Abloh has long been an admirer of the skate community, even jumping on a board himself from time to time. Abloh has shown his passion for skating through his many Nike Dunk collaborations. He has since stepped up his interest in bringing skateboarding to high fashion after taking the reigns at Louis Vuitton.
Initially introducing skateboards to the Louis Vuitton product section, we have seen the introduction of LV’s first-ever sponsored skater Lucien Clarke. The British skater has earned his signature skate sneaker with LV. However, he took the shoe in a completely different direction to the usual skate shoe. Unlike most skate silhouettes, the sneaker features an arch in the sole, reminiscent of running trainers.
Of all the high fashion brands looking to break into the skate scene, Louis Vuitton seems to be going about it in the right direction by sponsoring iconic skaters. Authenticity seems to be essential for Abloh, and it shows.
In perhaps the most typical design for a skate sneaker, the Gucci Virtus features a flat Dunk-like sole unit for optimum comfort. The sneaker looks as if it was pulled directly from the 90s, thanks to the pre-distressed design of the silhouette. Gucci and Alessandro Michele have a history of drawing inspiration from vintage sportswear and skateboarding, so it came as no surprise to see this sneaker release. I would imagine, though, that most skateboarders would say you should distress the shoes yourself. That aside, the visually appealing design of the ‘Virtus’ make this shoe a viable contender for the best skate-inspired high fashion sneaker on the market.