When it-girls around the world started shuffling (or rather stomping) in Isabel Marant’s wedge sneakers early last year, a revolution was sparked.
Despite the fact that wedge sneakers are clunky, space-age, and generally somewhat unsightly, we’ve seen every retailer under the sun quickly create their own version at every price point imaginable, which in turn has prompted the trend to follow a familiar trajectory, from top editors, to street style stars, to fashion bloggers, to everyday fashion lovers, to bargain shoppers, to mall-crawling teenagers. And so, the wedge sneaker became a thing that existed far beyond the hip, cash-rich confines of the fashion industry.
Alas, like all trickle down trends, the ubiquity of the wedge shoe among all of fashion waned rather quickly, as the style was no longer in demand, special or statutory. (Interestingly, here in New York, many local consignment stores have announced that they’re actively researching the style, which even means they know people are looking to unload their wedge shoes.)
Obviously, when one trend goes out the window, another quickly rushes in, and judging by a slew of street style photos, fashion campaigns, and e-commerce sites, we’re guessing the slip-on sneaker is the new wedge sneaker.
While the pull-on silhouette isn’t, in fact, new – it was long favored by skateboarders, grunge fans, and just about everyone else in the ’90s – it never really caught on. sewing crowd, so far.
Unsurprisingly, Celine – the arbiter of all things cool and coveted these days – was an early adopter of fashionable slip-on sneakers, the release of $720 ponyhair versions as part of her Spring/Summer 2012 collectionquickly followed by a near-exact all-black iteration of Zara, which was favored by a variety of hip fashion bloggers around the world, and sold out in the blink of an eye last winter.
From there, the trend started to spread – the insanely cool fashion director of Barneys Tomoko Ogura appeared in a Charm wear a pair of Céline python print slip-ons, prompting Glamour.com to write a blog post on how they “received letter after letter of questions about” Ogura’s sneakers, making it the most popular shoe in its March 2013 issue.
Obviously, other designers took notice and released their own high-end styles: Givenchy, Tory Burchand Katie Grand for Hogan to name a few, which were inevitably followed by cheaper contemporary designers creating their own versions like Kurt Geiger, Michael Korsand vince. Not to mention the three versions Zara released this spring (a black and white zebra print, a hot pink plain and a neon tie-die print, though we expect to see plenty more from the retailer in the fall. .
The trend is also boosted by the fact that designers and brands have used the slip-on sneakers in various campaigns, often styling them to casual perfection.
More recently, British label Studio Nicholson released their summer 2013 lookbook, in which each outfit was completed with a pair of leopard-print Céline slip-ons. Additionally, we posted about the lookbook and were amazed at how many reader comments via Twitter we received on where to find the sneakers!
For its Fall 2013 campaign, Madewell picked up on the trend but stuck to a familiar and approachable pair on slip-on sneakers: Vans’ checkerboard style, which was paired with preppy staples for flawless effect.
If you’re a fan of slip-on sneakers or wondering how to style them in cool ways, it’s worth keeping an eye out for designer collections and fast fashion offerings this fall, as well as blogs from urban style during September Fashion Week, as we have a feeling the sneaker style is going to be pretty mainstream in the fall.