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This fall, fashionistas are getting their kicks by lacing up luxury sneakers from top designers.
Since Isabel Marant single-handedly launched the trend (with her hidden-wedge sneakers, pictured above), other luxe labels from Balenciaga to Mulberry have followed in her footsteps with their own upscale take on the workhorse tennis shoe.
The look’s not about fitness performance, just fitness style. “Women can wear these in place of their Louboutins,” says LA-based stylist Carrie Cramer, who admits that Nike probably makes a better actual athletic shoe. And a less expensive one. Most of these range from $295 to $850.
What accounts for the trend? According to Eleanor Ylvisaker, co-founder of custom designer-shopping site, Feyt, there’s a significant sportiness happening in fashion right now. “We’ve seen it on the runways of Alexander Wang and Helmut Lang: Subtle details like hoods, mesh, and perforated leathers,” Ylvisaker says.
So either fashion houses are taking a footwear cue from the fitness world, or, better yet, they’re joining the team. Peruse our top ten picks of the designer-sneaker trend now…
Photo: Isabel Marant via Instagram
Look cool and stay warm through fall and winter seasons in these shearling-lined sneakers by Lanvin. Here, the Parisian label fuses feminine grosgrain laces with a youthful high-top sneaker for a luxe suede look that’s sure to turn more than a few heads. Wear them on the weekend with skinny jeans and a cozy sweater.
Pierre Hardy is a Parisian luxury footwear and accessories label that has graced the heels and hands of serious fashionistas since the line’s debut in 1999. Though this minimalistic running shoe is a departure from the typical sky-high stiletto the label normally produces, the sumptuous leather and canvas sneaker still oozes Hardy craftsmanship.
These covered-wedge leather sneakers with a 3-inch lift are a more affordable counterpart to that Isabel Marant pair we know you’ve been lusting after. Wear them with skinny jeans and a blazer to add an athletic edge to your work ensemble.
Mulberry has been the go-to label for quirky yet refined English style for decades. They recently hitched their Mini Cooper to the luxury sneaker trend. Witness this explosive floral print, the Blurry Bloom shoe, part of the debut sneaker collection. The canvas and suede achieves the classic yet cool factor Mulberry is celebrated for.
These patent leather high tops in ballet-slipper pink are a playful, feminine take on the tough street-style sneaker traditionally seen on hip downtown types. You slip them on and off with the zipper; the non-functioning laces are just there for looks.
Avant-garde yet wearable is the design motif of Maison Martin Margiela. And these limited-edition sneakers are no exception. This unconventional shoe is made from lambskin that’s been coated to make it look concrete, and then hand-painted with “graffiti.” It’s a pair that most footwear collector’s would die for. Hence the collector’s price.
High-top Balenciaga sneakers are regularly seen on such stylish celebrities as Kanye West. This streamlined shoe provides a more subdued option for the rest of us non-celebs looking to sport the luxury sneaker trend. Dubbed the “Resille” trainer (French for “net”), the sneaker fuses mesh and stingray materials—a fresh catch for the city sidewalks.
With these sparkling sneakers that rival the flashing lights of Tokyo, Jimmy Choo combines two high-fashion trends—glitter-dusted footwear and luxury sneakers. Pair them with a chic neon dress and black leather jacket for a look that really pops. They’re glamorous enough to carry you from day to night.
These platform sneakers dusted in (a restrained amount of) glitter have that je ne sais quoi—a look that channels the enviable style of a fashionable Lower East Side (or Left Bank) girl. Thanks to Sonia Rykiel, anyone can evoke her vibe in this classy gold-studded pair.
This suede sneaker with contrast patent-leather toe and grosgrain laces are exactly what we’ve come to expect from the the Parisian couture house. Attention to detail, cutting-edge design, and subtle femininity are just three examples of what makes this show, and Lanvin, lust-worthy.