One of the sneaker models launched by Balenciaga

With great skill and good intentions, the images signed by the photographer Patricia Schwoerer with styling by Leopolda Duchemin communicate the new shoes in such an extreme way that they resemble the mummified version of an Egyptian pharaoh unearthed several millennia later. Is part of the first coup is that they look like archaeological relics? It can be, although the truth is another. The truth is that in reality the level of destruction of the worn sneakers Paris by Balenciaga it is not so grotesque or shocking, and the three models, both the high-top, the low top and the mule version, are quite torn and dirty in appearance.

It is clear that the inventiveness from the house is not new. Because in fashion there are no totally new novelties and the firm’s designer Demna Gvasalia (who asked the media to call him plain Demna from now on) is not exempt from it. And he knows it. At the time, other well-known sneaker brands presented used-looking models. The Italian firm Golden Goose eagerly aged the limited editions of the Mid Star, V-Star and Ball Star models on their entire surface except for the side star that retains its shine of glitter or metallic leather by dint of continuing to flicker. Also the Turin Superga with the traditional 2750 Cotu model were part of the game and defied (barely, let’s be honest) good taste with models that seemed to have lived life on the bounce. In fact, part of the charm of this brand lies in continuing to use them when the rubber is stained beyond measure, the canvas cannot resist one more bleach and the big toe sticks out greeting the sun between the threads of the torn fabric. Although with Balenciaga’s slap, they actually tried it because next to the new Paris sneakers, those are busty babes.

Let us remember that from the traditional French house Demna the concept of what became known as Ugly Shoes was installed, some mammoth, grotesque, almost in bad taste slippers, which caused fury and horror in equal parts and which, if we look carefully, still continue to mark the course and walking several streets of the world.

One of the sneaker models launched by BalenciagaArchive

Returning to what concerns us, here and now we can say that this true renewed classic, the Paris sneakers, are a revolution that lacks evolution.

doWhere was the original elegance that Cristóbal Balenciaga knew how to imprint on his designs during the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s? The designer set the pace of an era and even dictated the pace for his colleagues at the time and, needless to say, for those of today. It was impossible not to be influenced by the lines of her dresses with silhouettes that honored the femininity of the women of that time. We are talking about one of the strongest and most recognizable legacies where the tunic dress and the balloon dress are just two of his most important creations. At its dawn within Balenciaga, in 2015, the handbags of the first collection of the Gregorian Demna, until that moment a true unknown to the fashion industry, were replicas of the bags to make purchases or copies of those rectangular ones that serve to store the quilts (yes, made of a very fine sheepskin whose value reaches 4 figures). He also became famous for selling clothes that seemed used, cotolengo or fair at exorbitant prices when he designed for Vetements, his own brand today run exclusively by his brother Guram. A simple cotton sweatshirt with a print cost more than 600 euros and even made it to a Met Gala. Ugly aesthetics and controversy are central to the spirit of this Gvasalia era at Balenciaga. In fact many accuse him of being too radical in an old and traditional firm. So, should we be surprised that the new proposal is a shoe that seems well worn by the older, middle and younger brother as if it were a traditional family heirloom? There are those who also relate that historically the designer glamorizes poverty with this potpourri of garments and accessories inspired by those who have less. Although it requires a deeper analysis, to say that it would not be untrue. The truth is that thanks to the work and grace of marketing and social networks, the viralization of these shoes, which to tell the truth have nothing new, is a fact that even gave rise to different interpretations. Some, by the way, very funny.

The more destroyed, the better?

They say that the idea of ​​the brand is to show that the Paris are for life. Let’s say that in a first reading we can talk about responsible consumption and feel good about the environment. Although if we who work in fashion know something, it is that in the fashion world nothing is forever, nothing is eternal because the gear that turns the wheel of consumption would break. Even the not always correctly called basic garments or wardrobe essentials are ephemeral. So why would a pair of shoes be forever when we all know that time and humidity wreak havoc and cause the sole to completely detach and cease to be useful even if it’s sad?

One hundred pairs correspond to this model called Paris "completely destroyed"
One hundred pairs correspond to this model called Paris “full destroyed”

With what they cost, it is more than clear that whoever can buy them is not a globetrotter who walks the paths of life wearing soles. With an extreme trick and a new interpretation of luxury, what also causes revolution in this matter is what they cost. With values ​​that start at almost 500 euros and rise to 1,500 with a plus: the exclusive banner is that for now there are only 100 pairs in black and white for online purchase. That is to say that at this time collectors, fashionistas and fans are making the purchase, and chances are that by the time you finish reading this article they will already be sold out.

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