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When good ol’ dad sneaker silhouettes became the craze, the general consensus was hard to gauge. Some straight out loathed the designs, others embraced their avant-garde appearance. When they began to be the trend in high fashion, the crowd were even more bewildered. This is not the first questionable direction that luxury companies took on, and it is far from the last. Polarized reactions do nothing in taking the spotlight from them however, as is the case with the Balenciaga Triple-S. Fashionistas and sneakerheads alike continue to spend hundreds of dollars to cop them, and ripped-off designs are added every now and then to the market, only proving their popularity further.
Compare Balenciaga Triple-S Prices Online
Release Year: 2017
Retail Price: US$895.00
Balenciaga first introduced the Triple-S sneakers in 2017 during the fashion house’s presentation of its FW17 collection. It takes its name after the triple-stacked sole that distinguishes it from the rest of the available chunky sneakers. Different colorways were produced to cater to many tastes, and these were accompanied with varying prices that start at US$795. They are not the most affordable nor are the most accessible, but their appeal led to stocks disappearing as fast the Speed Trainers, another of Balenciaga’s controversial sneakers.
The chunky shoe trend has been around for quite some time now, and is showing no signs of wavering in the foreseeable future. Even in the abundance of “ugly sneakers” though, one can still stand out of the crowd with minimal effort through the Balenciaga Triple-S. Granted, the aesthetic is not unexpected from Balenciaga and Demna Gvasalia, but it generally can still spark interest and stir a myriad of emotions with the silhouette alone. Many people may turn away due to the unusual appearance of the sneakers, but those who have dropped dough for them speak highly of the comfort the shoes afford. The construction as well as the materials are nothing short of excellent, revealing Balenciaga’s great attention to detail. Multiple colorways are available for the Triple-S which many people can benefit from. Still, the number of options do not preclude the shoes from being icons of high fashion.
Pulling off the Triple-S sneakers, or almost every ugly sneaker available, is a challenge to many people. The distressed design of the Triple-S makes it more difficult to work with besides the already bulky silhouette. It is highly unlikely to maximize the use of the shoes as they’re not the most versatile of choices, even at a time when sneakers are incorporated in almost every event. The high price is not convincing to many who would rather put the money elsewhere, although a good 700 or more so grand is what you can anticipate from its label.
Balenciaga Triple S: High Fashion’s Current Favorite Sneakers
Today, Balenciaga is all about streetwear. In fact, even before Vetements founder and designer Demna Gvasalia took up the reigns of the house, the brand had already exhibited streetwear aesthetics numerous times before. Who could forget Nicolas Ghesquiere’s experimental designs? Or the sportswear looks trotted out by Alexander Wang? Gvasalia, however, takes a step further with his ironic yet socially-aware collections and statement pieces that harken back to normal, unremarkable garments people wear for their everyday lives. During the brand’s Fall 2017 men’s fashion show, he debuted the label’s Triple S sneakers—the perfect footwear that befits his streetwear-gone-upscale proposal.
It’s worth noting that high fashion sneakers were never really a thing before Vetements and Gvasalia came on the scene. Haute couture labels such as Dior and Givenchy focused on heels and leather shoes and left sneaker culture to sportswear brands like Nike and Adidas. But as athleisure gained a lot of traction in recent years, particularly through the rise of social media, these same high fashion brands had to follow suit. Amidst all of the more recent releases, Balenciaga’s Triple S sneakers have been getting a lot of attention lately since the Parisian house is one of today’s top performing retail giants.
The Triple S sneakers are, as some might argue, the quintessential high fashion sneakers. These shoes started (or at least helped start) a new movement within the industry and are extremely novel in their overall design and aesthetic. It’s already evident through the interplay of colors and textiles that careful construction and craftsmanship were utilized to create the pair, similarly to how the brand’s haute couture dresses were made in the past. The sneakers’ unorthodox silhouette and “worn-out” style challenge the modern perception on what looks good and expensive—an attempt to overhaul the current standards of the luxury retail business.
The shoes also capture the zeitgeist of its time: an era where the exclusivity of high fashion is challenged and the divides between classes are beginning to crumble down. The convergence of upscale and underground markets is leveling the playing field and because of this, the Triple S sneakers exhibit timeless appeal (they already look like they were bought and worn for several years), but not necessarily timeless value. While fashion’s structure is subject to change, its fickleness isn’t. What’s trendy now is bound to be irrelevant in years to come, including today’s streetwear hype and the clamor for the Triple S sneakers of Gvasalia’s Balenciaga.
At almost $800 a pop, Balenciaga’s Triple S sneakers are among the most-buzzed-about sneakers today. The key word there is ‘today,’ and while many may have the means for such footwear, buying what already looks like an old pair of shoes just doesn’t seem like a smart investment. This is especially since they might possibly go out of style as soon as the next fashion month. But such is the hefty price to pay to be fashionable in this day and age, and for several customers, it’s worth every cent.
Image credits: Hypebeast (featured image), END Clothing, The Idle Man, Designer-Vintage, Balenciaga, ShopandBox, ChampionsoftheEarth (article images)