Along with the desire for comfort, the athleisure trend’s continuous dominance has had a substantial impact on the rising sales of sneakers. Sneakers, once a representation of athleticism, have evolved beyond their original purpose to become widely desired consumer products. Sneakers have established themselves as cultural commodities, appearing in everything from sportswear and street style to runway couture.
In 1985, Michael Jordan’s Nike Air Force Sneaker made its debut and went on to become a legend in popular culture. The shoe was advertised for everyday use in addition to sports. It quickly rose to the top of the most sought-after sneakers in contemporary fashion and sneakerheads continue to adore it today.
Sneakerheads, also known as sneaker collectors, are aware of the adverse impacts that the invention and rising craze for sneakers have had on them. For them, sneakers are more than just a simple form of footwear; they regard them as prized possessions.
But how exclusive are sneakers today?
For luxury brands, sneakers are the new goose that lays golden eggs. Due to the growing ‘sneakerisation’, luxury brands are dominating the sneaker market. From 2009 to 2015, sales of luxury sneakers tripled, thanks to millennials’ penchant for fusing high-end products with more affordable options.
Nowadays, it appears that the majority of the sector gets its inspiration from appealing to a larger audience. Even so, the luxury sector continues to hold a competitive advantage. Although the excitement may have subsided a little, sneakers are still regarded as one of the items that people would be proud to acquire.
Resellers taking utmost advantage
There are haves and have-nots in the world of streetwear fashion (those wearing Balenciaga) (and those in the Zara knock-offs). The reselling business rapidly jumped on to the streetwear trend to provide clients with affordable dupes because not everyone can buy or obtain an exclusive pair of brand sneakers.
Sneaker buying and selling has shifted from the time when it was handled in a neighbourhood and driven by passionate collectors. This transitioned to faceless trades was driven mostly for financial benefit for a while, like most sectors. The sneaker reselling industry in India has grown quickly over the past four years and is now recognised as a developing alternative investment.
The Rise of Collaborative Sneakers
Many sneakerheads eagerly anticipate adding sneakers to their collections that are the result of incredible partnerships with various celebs, fashion houses or even food companies.
Three of the most talked-about pairs of sneakers to ever hit the market—the Air Jordan x Dior Jordan 1, the Adidas x Prada Superstar and the Nike x Sacai LDWaffle—showcase the confluence of streetwear and high fashion.
Two colourways of the newest Adidas Forum Wings 4.0 ‘Opal Pack’ from Jeremy Scott and Adidas Originals will make their debut in 2023. With his collaboration with the Nike Air Jordans, Travis Scott will return to the sneaker world in 2023. Black suede serves as the foundation of the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Low OG WMNS ‘Olive’ while off-white leather accents serve as a striking contrast.
After its September 2022 launch, 2023 is the anticipated year for the PUMA Stewie 1. Breanna Stewart most recently unveiled a PUMA Stewie 1 colourway called ‘Reintroduce’ on Instagram. The ‘Reintroduce’ colourway, in contrast to the ‘Quiet Fire’ and ‘Causing Trouble colourways, features a straightforward colour scheme with shades of beige and cream.
Sneakers in Runways
When it comes to runways, sneakers on the catwalk can highlight inventive, new styles. Modern fashion brands are free to create unconventional forms, alluring colour schemes and premium materials.
The first Heron Preston presentation to be presented during New York Fashion Week in 2023 took place in a sanitation department. His sneakers on the runway could be totally recycled because they were composed of cellular film, a kind of polyurethane.
During this year’s Paris Men’s Fashion Week, sneakers were spotted on numerous catwalks. By fusing fashionable apparel with casual sneakers, Louis Gabriel Nouchi really elevated the shoe. Conversely, Amiri, a luxury brand, primarily went with white sneakers and matched them with graphic T-shirts, coats and sweaters.
At Pitti Uomo’s Spring 2023 fashion show, Lotto, an Italian show brand, drew inspiration from the heyday of Italian basketball for its most recent collection. At Voile Blanche, sneakers were in abundance. The hero Club aesthetic is always evolving, using daring colour combinations and silk-screen prints that include the company’s insignia on designs for casual footwear.
The Flower Mountain, a Japanese lifestyle footwear brand, fall offering had an adventurous and climbing vibe to it. The uppers of the sneakers, which are modeled after the traditional Japanese stitching method known as Sashiko, include textured and frequently 3D features that give them a distinct edge.
Gender-Fluidity in Sneakers
By exploiting female role models and defying the common misconception that shoe wearers are men, the sneaker business is able to broaden its audience.
Women are now choosing flat-soled sneakers over uncomfortable heels and pumps. The majority of women now wear casual sneakers to work. They are wearing them successfully with both dresses and jeans.
Now, there is less pressure on women to wear expensive heels because they are used more for special events.
Women like Aleali May, Creator of the Air Jordan 1 ‘Satin Shadow’; Melody Ehsani, who created the Air Jordan 1 Mid ‘Fearless’; and Chitose Abe, who was in charge of the Nike X Sacai collaborations, have revolutionised the sneaker industry with not only their designs but also with their women’s-only sneakers and forward-thinking fashion statements.
LATEST FASHION SNEAKER TRENDS TAKING OVER THE FASHION WORLD
As denim did in the 1950s, sneakers are now widely accepted in society. They’re no longer just for drenching exercises. Instead, they have discovered a respectable spot on the red carpet, in the streets, as well as at work.
1. Moc-Toe Sneakers
Moc-toe sneakers are among the dressier-looking but not necessarily formal designs that will be a huge hit in 2023. This type of footwear is basically a hybrid design that combines the room and comfort of a traditional moccasin with an outsole that has tread or roughness for walking around.
For its newest footwear design, Prada chose to combine sneakers and formal shoes. The sneakers have an upper with elevated edges that are reminiscent of a moc toe. This pair leans even more towards sportswear with its sporty lace loops and vibrant colour combinations like crimson/burgundy and yellow. The large sole on which Prada’s most recent design for Paris Men’s Fashion Week 2023 is supported, complete with an oversized heel.
2. Y2K Skate Sneakers
The early 2000s skate shoes, with their voluminous, weighty and cushioned grandeur may just be the next major sneaker phenomenon to watch.
The craze began when minimal sneakers dominated the Dior runway the previous year. The premium version of the traditional shoe has embellishments on the sides and large Dior branding on the tongue. For S/S’ 23, Saucony unveiled its upcoming collaborations, which included a modernised version of the classic Sonic Spotbilt sneakers and numerous reimagining of the US company’s Y2K running models.
3. 3D-Printed Sneakers
The vivid blue sneakers were presented during US brand KidSuper’s Spring/Summer 2023 show at Paris Fashion Week. They are constructed of layers of thermoplastic polyurethane, a rubbery plastic. The laceless shoes have an expanded arch that gives them a more formal appearance. They have a knit-like texture that is soft and bouncy to the touch.
The Puffer Boot, created by Rains for the Paris Men’s Fashion Week, has numerous carved-out areas all over its upper that make it look like a stone sculpture. The puffer-inspired pieces that make up the upper and inspire the design’s name are actually 90 per cent air. This Fall/Winter fashion week, even the menswear label Botter created a stunning pair of 3D sneakers in tropical colours by drawing influence from 3D painting.
4. Running Sneakers
2022 began with a sudden increase in the popularity of all-white sneakers. Nevertheless, performance manufacturers are now introducing something even more eye-catching: distinctive soles that stand out. Bright colours including yellow, baby blue, tangerine and red are being used by brands to cover sneakers.
Most streetwear lovers today wear running shoe brands like New Balance, Asics and Salomon. As a result, it is not surprising that Kenzo entered the fray by introducing its own brand of running sneakers during the Fall/Winter 2023 season. Although it’s hard to picture The Beatles or British mods sporting modern ‘dad shoes’ let alone a pair of Kenzo x Hunter rain boots, Kenzo’s interpretation of this trend feels much more understated and wearable than similar products by other high-end fashion houses. The shoes have a big midsole, a chunky tongue and subtle logo hits on the lateral and tongue.
5. Suede Sneakers
Suede has recently become the preferred material for all shoe trends. Its classic style, which combines neutral and flexible suede with vibrant bursts, has everyone drooling. Sneakerheads’ shoe racks for 2023 are filled with a lot of navy blue and pale olive colours. These are neutral colours, although they have more visual intrigue than a straightforward brown.
The trendy shoe colours of the season are being joined by even deeper shades of olive and burnt orange to make them louder and more captivating. Sneakers were given some subtle but significant updates by Grace Wales Bonner for Paris Men’s Fashion Week 2023, including premium black suede uppers, gold eyelets and a scaled-down Three Stripes logo from the original pairs. These changes made the sneakers more appropriate for a runway than the neighborhood gym. Two pairs from Ryota Iwai’s technical brand’s most recent creations were introduced this Fall/Winter. Each has a monochromatic upper that combines suede and mesh, with cream midsoles.
6. Chunky Soles
The maximalist hefty, bulky or dad trainer sneaker fashion is a clear reference to the minimalist sneaker craze. Currently, this trend is being rocked hard by brands like Balenciaga and Gucci.
Go for a shoe with sleek upper and simple or neutral colours if you want to try the huge-sole sneaker trend. Both the heavy sole and the overall design will be softer as a result. The founder of the New York City-based brand Kidsuper, Colm Dillane, was chosen to create its Fall/Winter 2023 collection. The sneakers emerged on the runway in a variety of variations and have a spongy, chunky sole. Even pairs that resembled burgundy mesh trail running shoes and ones in a metallic colour with zip-up laces were available. Kenzo too offered a pair of silver and blue shoes with a chunky midsole for the Fall/Winter season.
Fashion is getting more futuristic by the minute, which may be due to the metaverse. The new collections are far ahead just by looking at all the space-age silver that covered both the A/W ’22 and S/S ’23 runways. Yet, wearing new shoes—or, in this case, trainers—is one of the simplest ways to adopt any new trend.
Vegan trainers are neither unique nor original, but in 2023, they will undoubtedly be more widely available. See how many of the outfits on Cecilie Bahnsen’s S/S ’23 runway were worn with trainers. All of the subtle dresses in white, pistachio green and powder blue were set together with stand-out trainers with embossed floral embellishments in different styles and colourways.