The art of the distress has become a vital skill in the fashion industry, with many designers cutting at the seams and gratting knitwear for that truly worn in feeling. But trust Demna to take it one step further with his new limited-edition Balenciaga ‘Paris’ sneaker. Appearing like they’d just returned from the muddiest most anarchic festival going, the sneakers come more pre-battered than pre-worn.
Retailing at £1290, the dilapidated shoe features chunky pen marks bearing the Balenciaga name, raw hems, artificial bleach/mud marks, pot holes and plenty of stab wounds lashed onto its rubber soles. Some are without heels, others look like they’ve been recovered from a nuclear explosion, giving way to decay, rot and fire. They’d certainly be the last thing you picked up from a Lost Property Box, but that’s exactly the point. This purposeful decay has coloured many a release during Demna’s headline-making tenure at the brand, but none of these drops has appeared this manic, nor so unwearable. So it’s a good thing they’re all an artistic ruse…
With 100 copies of the extra-destroyed versions that have taken to various fashion media available to purchase, the models actually making it to stores are far more subdued, and likely to last more than five steps before crumbling into rubble. Their frays are fluffy, their dyes well-washed, their lack of heels mule-like. Even their silhouettes are in good-nick, looking sturdy enough to handle a few years of the most raucous city-frolicking imaginable. Here’s to destroying our shoes!
Shop the Balenciaga Paris Sneaker here.