Nothing is as effortless as Parisian style, no matter how casual — at least, that appears to be the message behind Balenciaga’s latest sneakers.
Currently available for pre-order on the brand’s website, the French label’s new $625 Paris style features a classic lace-up silhouette. The minimalist pair features a high-top silhouette that will likely appeal to those desiring classic staples. It’s also available in a $425 pair of backless mules, merging the classic slip-on shoe with a lace-up sneaker — creating a more subversive take on the original shoe, a move Demna has become known for throughout his designs.
Leaning into the French aesthetic, each pair is available in a palette of white, black and red with plain fabric uppers. Giving both styles a lightly worn energy are faint scuffs and distressing on their counters. Completing each is a white rubber outsole and capped toes.
However, under Demna, Balenciaga has earned a reputation for the absurdist and brash. As such, the Paris high-top style is also being released in a fully distressed take. The “Full Destroyed” versions of the sneaker, available in both black and white, feature fabric uppers that are utterly shredded. The vulcanized soles appear similarly dirtied and worn, covered in black and gray markings not dissimilar to their original style — give or take a few years of wear and tear.
This pair retails for $1,850, compared to the lower price tags of its predecessor. There are also only 100 pairs of them available while supplies last.
However, the “Fully Destroyed” style of the sneakers has already sparked conversation online. Many fans, shoppers and the general public are predominantly confused over the sneakers’ purpose, especially as they are already presented in a “worn” state.
One user openly stated on Twitter that the brand’s design team’s ultimate goal is to “troll everybody.”
I honestly feel Balenciaga whole design team out here to troll everybody
— 🌙 Sher 🌙 (@SherBerryful) May 9, 2022
Others likened the style to old or worn-out sneakers they owned in their teens, with some comparing them to similar pairs of sneakers worn to the point of falling apart.
“Balenciaga is really charging people $1850 for the pair of torn up converse that my ma begged me to throw out when I was in high school,” another user commented.
Balenciaga is really charging people $1850 for the pair of torn up converse that my ma begged me to throw out when I was in high school https://t.co/45BjZtLzbA
— morgy rosé (@morgy_rozay) May 9, 2022
The distressed style even drew comparisons to zombies, homeless people or even just a “social experiment” for how much someone would pay for dirty sneakers. Perhaps one of the most humorous? Users claiming Balenciaga should hire sneaker-chewing dogs as their new designers, like one did in a video-based Tweet.
— Andrea Stephens (@Andstephensbr) May 9, 2022
Currently, international shoppers can buy Balenciaga’s Paris sneaker on the brand’s website and in its European stores. On May 16, they will be available in U.S. and Middle Eastern boutiques. Ahead of their worldwide launch, the style will also launch in Japan on May 23.
Discover Balenciaga’s Fall 2022 collection in the gallery.