Once upon a time fashion enthusiasts wouldn’t dare use the term stylish to describe sneakers. However, over the past couple of years sneaker manufacturers has been revolutionizing how we once viewed the comfy footwear. As a result of designers and sneaker companies collaborating, the tennis shoe is now a coveted accessory in fashion and may even rival a six-inch stiletto.
In 2013, designer Rick Owens worked alongside Adidas on a line of men’s and women’s running shoes. Owens designed a group of running shoes based on a single profile in a range of materials and colors. He created six styles for men and four for women. Colors ranged from black, white, gray, pearl and bone with a pop of yellow for some of the women’s styles. Materials included leather, suede, nylon and canvas. The collection was unveiled following Owen’s Paris fashion show.
Earlier this year, Kate Spade sister brand Kate Spade Saturday’s collaborated with New Balance. The capsule collection featured whimsical and graphic prints, and bright colors. The limited edition training sneakers were available February and sold for $95.
Most recently, the CEO of footwear label Aqua Two tapped Hong Kong menswear designer Six Lee to collaborate on a high-fashion sneaker. The collection features 21 tennis shoes in an assortment of colors and styles. The collection is a combination of marble print soles, leather with holographic sheen reptilian textures, classic tassels and high-tech mesh. Pastel colors are intermixed with monochrome hues.
Lee notes, “I combine geometric shapes with dreamy color palettes, balancing classic and futuristic undertones. It was this paradoxical contrast in approach that inspired me to create something similar in this collaboration. This is why you see traditional elements from Oxford shoes and loafers transformed and distilled into a modern and sporty context.”
In regards to the collaboration, Aqua Two said, “Aqua Two has always taken pride in creating outdoor walking shoes that provide comfort, minimal environmental impact and great design. That said, we noticed that there was still a demand for both very functional and very fashionable shoes that was not being addressed. We are happy with this collaboration, and believe this great product will fill a much needed gap in the market.”
You can purchase the collection here.
Other popular high-fashion sneaker collaborations were Marc Jacobs and Vans, Maison Martin Margiela and Converse, Hussein Chalayan and Puma, and more.
(Photos via Six Lee)