There’s no shortage of opinions on Balenciaga’s latest commercial for a series of roughed-up sneakers with a jaw-dropping price tag. Following Monday’s introduction of the couture company’s new Paris sneaker, the photographs, shot by photographer Leopold Duchemin for the brand, of badly shredded, distressed sneakers have gone viral, with indignation about the appearance of the high tops spreading online.
Social media posts featuring smashed footwear don’t tell the whole tale, though. While they have courted the most controversy, the images are actually of exaggerated, limited-edition versions of the sneakers that Balenciaga is selling.
One hundred “extremely ruined” sneakers are being offered for $1,850 each by the fashion brand. The Balenciaga website is selling the non-limited and less roughed-up versions for $495 and $625, depending on the style.
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“Extremely worn, marked up, and dirtied,” the Paris-based brand stated in a news release. There have been a lot of discussions lately about the rapid fashion industry and the environmental impact of overconsumption, and these still-life pictures “indicate that Paris Sneakers is meant to be worn for a lifetime.”
Balenciaga releases new ‘Paris Sneakers’ collection for $1,850 a pair. pic.twitter.com/IUCE9VCPhH
— Pop Base (@PopBase) May 10, 2022
For Demna, the Paris shoe launch is only the latest in a long line of astonished reactions to his unconventional designs. In 2017, Balenciaga released a $2,145 bag that was mocked for resembling Ikea’s “Frakta” bag because of its price. The original Ikea bag cost 99 cents at the time.
In the words of Balenciaga, the sneaker is a “retooled classic design” with “distressed canvas and rough edges, giving it a pre-worn look.”
The Paris sneaker has received mixed reviews on the internet.
As a network for “real sneakerheads,” SoleSavy posed the question of whether the “aged sneakers trend” had gone too far.
“Balenciaga is always inventing contentious goods that create controversy,” says Highsnobiety news editor Tora Northman. “They’ve pushed it to the next level.”
Even said, not everyone is a fan of the sneakers.
Pam Boy, who is in charge of editorial content for GQ France, said in an Instagram comment that the product’s message is clear: “Buy and keep forever. Demna (Balenciaga’s creative director) will make people who can afford luxury items purchase ‘pre-worn’ looking sneakers for 1450€. He is completely turning the essence of luxury upside down.”
At this point, it’s hard to tell if this latest marketing ploy deserves high acclaim or mockery. Balenciaga’s latest collaboration with Demna Gvasalia has once again sparked debate, which is certain to lure new customers to the brand. For more such content do follow us only on leedaily.com