Is This What the Future of Luxury Sneakers Looks Like?

For his New York Fashion Week show on Sept. 13, LVL XIII designer Antonio Brown adopted the theme “The Elements on Fifth Ave.,” taking cues from cult sci-fi hit “The Fifth Element” in more ways than one.

Operatic singer Evgenia Laguna opened the presentation with the film’s iconic musical performance, done to perfection. All that was missing was blue body paint and head tentacles.

And as the models stepped onto the runway, the theme continued. The attire was spare black leotards and sleek motorcycle helmets accented by LVL XIII’s latest series of luxury men’s shoes. The message was clear: We’re entering the future of footwear.

LVL XIII
LVL XIII presentation at New York Fashion Week.
LVL XIII
LVL XIII presentation at New York Fashion Week.
LVL XIII NYFW
LVL XIII presentation at New York Fashion Week.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock.

Brown took a fearless approach to his shoe designs, mixing materials such as leather and pony hair decorated with animal prints, metallic finishes and lots of straps. And all the looks were loaded with hardware: buckles, studs and the brand’s signature metal plates.

The designer was also diversified when it came to silhouettes, showing a number of different takes on sneakers and sneaker-inspired boots, as well as a few sandals and dress shoes. Or, at least, dress shoes as LVL XIII envisions them, which is with color blocking and an ankle strap and spat effect.

LVL XIII
Closeup of a new style from LVL XIII.
CREDIT: Jennie Bell.

In an interview earlier this year with FN, Brown talked about working on the collection with brand ambassador Jason Derulo, who was on hand last night for the launch event. “[Jason is] a true collaborator on luxury goods, so the collaboration with sneakers will help LXL XIII achieve its goals and help Jason become recognized in fashion,” said Brown. “He gives me ideas and suggestions, and we figure out what works best.”

While it’s unclear exactly how Derulo influenced the line, the brand certainly succeeded in creating a high-wattage collection and upping its status in the luxury sneaker realm.

(And it did a little good as well: Before the start of the show, Brown presented a $10,000 check to fellow designer Kenneth Cole to benefit amfAR initiatives.)

LVL XIII NYFW
Antonio Brown, Jason Derulo and Kenneth Cole at LVL XIII's NYFW presentation.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock.

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