The immersive dive by luxury labels into sneaker culture isn’t stopping anytime soon as high-end fashion houses continue to lure sneakerheads and the footwear conscious with their own premium offerings. In fact, the overlap is quite obvious now that the Virgil Ablohs, Kanye Wests, and other influential sneaker minds of the world are now depended on take high fashion to new heights. The biggest story of Paris Fashion Week thus far has been Virgil’s first runway show for Louis Vuitton and the new high-top sneaker he designed for the label. While the internet and social media audiences have praised the Chicago native for his work, his sneaker is just another in the long history of super-expensive luxury shoes that have been heavily inspired by both the obscure and the iconic creations of the past. See below for a quick round-up of some of the more interesting comparisons below.
Left: Louis Vuitton high-top sneaker designed by Virgil Abloh
Right: Avia 880
Louis Vuitton’s SS19 runway shoe in Paris ended in a tearful and heartfelt embrace between Virgil Abloh, the brand’s newly appointed menswear designer, and long-time pal Kanye West. Abloh also caught the fashion headlines as his first sneaker design, a high-top leather shoe with an ankle strap, was one of the more provoking sneaker sightings of the week. However, the comparisons can be made with the Avia 880, a basketball shoe worn by eventual Hall of Famers such as Clyde Drexler and even Scottie Pippen. Avia was of course a lower-priced option as the larger, more powerful brands were pumping out their own designs.
Top: Fear Of God B-Ball High-Top
Bottom: Kelme Sport
Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear Of God label burst onto the scene as one of the most popular and accessible streetwear/luxury brands of the last few years. On the footwear front, he’s particularly known for his B-Ball High-Top shoe, a design that blended the premium nature of a high-top boot with the sporty flair of a basketball shoe. In the mid-1980s, Spanish footwear brand Kelme released a leather high-top shoe that, when placed side-by-side with the Lorenzo’s design, looks like the originator to the FOG model.
Top: Balenciaga Speed Trainer
Bottom: Nike Air Huarache Run
Balenciaga’s luxury footwear offerings, specifically the super-chunky Triple-S and the slimmed-down Speed Trainer, has caught the attention of hypebeasts and rich kids everywhere. The latter has drawn comparisons to the Air Huarache for its chiseled midsole design, while the sock-fit upper is another Nike-ushered footwear trend that started with the Mercurial Free Flyknit in 2014.
Left: Air Jordan 1
Right: Saint Laurent SL10
The Air Jordan 1 served as an inspiration to many basketball and lifestyle shoes that followed, but Saint Laurent’s SL10 deserves the bulk of the spotlight thanks to their choice of colors. This popular high-top leather shoe dropped in “Banned” and “Royal” colorways, drawing even more ties to Michael Jordan’s first shoe.