This morning in Paris, Chitose Abe took on the utility sandal and gave it a typically Sacai twist. The designer is known for her signature hybrid aesthetic. For spring ’19, she turned her attention to the feet, creating sandals made of offcuts from the fabrics she used in her garments.
The swatches, with motifs ranging from plaids to abstract ink blot effects, as seen on Kaia Gerber, were knotted together to make straps and shown matched to their garment counterpart.
The utility sandal has been gaining traction throughout Fashion Month. In Paris alone this week, we saw Valentino complete with removable feathered trims, desert festival-appropriate Birkenstocks with utility fastenings at Rick Owens, embossed croc and degrade denim at Chloe, and then, of course, there were those sporty little numbers replete with Swarovski crystal bedazzling at Gucci.
The utility theme also extended to Abe’s ready-to-wear with vest jackets, pants and skirts that were part garment and part accessory. And while this evolution of the fanny pack or holster has already been doing the rounds since the spring ’19 men’s collections in June, not least Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton, it definitely feels more legitimate than bandwagoning in view of Sacai’s hybrid DNA. This trend could have been made for Abe.
But back to the sandals, it’s also worth remembering that in the Lyst index of the year’s hottest products for men, slider sandals by Gucci and Prada took the two top spots, usurping Balenciaga’s Triple S in the process. And for spring, Balenciaga itself didn’t show a single sneaker.
So while we’re not proclaiming the death of the sneaker just yet, let’s just say it’s got competition.
See more styles on the runway at Sacai’s spring ’19 show.