Categories
Entertainment

Balenciaga sells destroyed sneakers for $1,850

Written by Hannah RyanCNN

Luxury fashion house Balenciaga has unveiled a new campaign promoting a series of dazzlingly priced distressed sneakers, and the internet has thoughts.

The images, taken by photographer Leopold Duchemin for the brand, of heavily worn and worn shoes have gone viral following the launch of the couture brand’s new Paris sneaker on Monday, with outrage over the look of high tops that swirl online.

But the photos of the destroyed sneakers circulating in social media doesn’t exactly tell the whole story. While they have sparked the most controversy, the images are actually exaggerated, limited-edition versions of the sneakers that Balenciaga sells.

According to the fashion house, only 100 pairs of “extra destroyed” sneakers will be available to buy for $1,850. Meanwhile, the non-limited edition and less worn versions sell on the Balenciaga website for $495 and $625, depending on the specific style.

The "extremely worn" Balenciaga sneakers surprise online.

The “extremely worn” Balenciaga sneakers that surprise online. Credit: Courtesy of Balenciaga

In a press release, the Paris-based brand said the campaign photos show the shoes “extremely worn, marked and dirty”.

He said the still life portraits “suggest that the Paris sneaker is meant to be worn for a lifetime,” a point that feels especially relevant amid growing conversations about the fast-fashion industry and the impact of overconsumption on the planet.
An example of the less worn version of the sneaker, available for pre-order for $625 on the Balenciaga website.

An example of the less worn version of the sneaker, available for pre-order for $625 on the Balenciaga website. Credit: Courtesy of Balenciaga

Demna is known for his disruptive style and the launch of the Paris sneaker isn’t the first time his designs have been met with baffled reactions.

In 2017, Balenciaga released a $2,145 bag that was derided for its similarities to Ikea’s “Frakta” bag. At the time, the original Ikea bag could be purchased for 99 cents.

Balenciaga describes the shoe as a “revamped classic design”, which is finished with “distressed canvas and rough edges, giving it a worn look”.

Online reactions to the Paris sneaker have been mixed.

SoleSavy, a website that describes itself as a community for “true sneaker fans,” I ask if the “aged sneaker trend” had gone too far.
Tora Northman, news editor for the publication Highsnobiety, said the brand “has taken it to the next level” and added that Balenciaga “is always creating controversial items that spark conversation.”

But not everyone thinks sneakers are worth making fun of.

GQ France’s head of editorial content, Pam Boy, said in a comment on Instagram that the product’s message is clear: “Buy and keep forever. Demna (Balenciaga’s creative director) will make people who can afford luxury goods buy ‘pre-worn’ sneakers for €1450. It’s turning the essence of luxury completely on its head.”

The jury seems to be out on whether this latest marketing move is praiseworthy or ridiculous. Either way, Demna and Balenciaga have once again got people talking, no doubt drawing many to a brand that seems increasingly comfortable with controversy.

Featured Image: Balenciaga’s Paris sneaker campaign images.

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.