At Pitti Uomo, Retro Men’s Sneakers Make a Comeback

Are minimal kicks on the out? At the Pitti Uomo spring ’18 men’s shows this week, hosted in Florence, luxury labels looked back to retro sneaker silhouettes. Designers referenced archival styles and update them with new finishes. We also saw new collaborations with iconic sneaker brands, like J.W. Anderson’s bold Converse takes.

It’s no secret fashion designers loves nostalgia. Here, we saw high-end footwear styles reference styles from decades like the 1980s and 1990s. At Christian Louboutin’s presentation, which doubled as a polo bike tournament, athletes wore his new Aurelien low-top sneaker, which is inspired by 1990s basketball style.

Christian Louboutin Spring 2018
Christian Louboutin’s new Aurelien sneaker.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

J.W. Anderson’s spring runway show, held at the Villa La Pietra, featured a collaboration with the classic sneaker brand Converse. Designer Jonathan Anderson revived both the Chuck Taylor and Thunderbolt styles, introducing new finishes like denim uppers, glitter colorways and exaggerated silhouettes.

J.W. Anderson Spring 2018
J.W. Anderson’s spring ’18 collection.
CREDIT: Giovanni Giannoni

At Bally, creative director Pablo Coppola referenced the archives, bringing back four of the Swiss label’s most successful sneaker styles over the daces. The capsule collection includes styles like the Super Smash tennis shoe, which dates back to the 1960s, as well as the Competition sneaker, which rapper Doug E. Fresh wore on the 1986 album cover of “Oh, My God!”.

Bally Spring 2018
Bally’s spring ’18 Super Smash men’s sneaker.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

Meanwhile, certain brands just embraced the retro runner look. At Baldinini, suede low-top runners had a 1980s feel in bold colors like red and green. At PS Paul Smith, low-tops had a similar feel, with multicolored rainbow stripes.

For more of the best sneakers, click through the gallery.

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