Ever get a fresh pair of sparkling clean brand new sneakers? They smell ripe right out of the box, too unadulterated to wear, but too beautiful simply stare at and own. You know these new sneakers will catch everyone’s eyes with their pristine and innate uniqueness. You’re never, ever going to get them dirty, or at least not too dirty, too soon.
However, have you ever wanted a pair of sneakers to be a bit grimy, worn, and dirty out of the box, yet still flashy and cutting edge? This initially sounds absurd, and looks absurd, but in the current era of high fashion footwear, the wear and tear look in the sneaker department is in high demand. Leading this emergence of high fashion sneakers is the renowned Balenciaga’s Triple S Trainer.
The Triple S was first shown in January 2017 and has yet to fade back in the Balenciaga hierarchy. Ultimately, designed by the house designer Demna Gvasalia, the sneaker has lead a revolution of the nostalgic trend of what is basely referred to as “dad shoes” or “ugly sneakers.” They are not Crocs either, although Balenciaga did have a pretty unflattering platform Croc rendition. With an exaggerated and jagged midsole and an almost abstract amalgamation of shapes on the body, the shoe has an initial shock factor. Then looking closer, there is a worn nature on the leather and grunginess in the dirtied whites of the sole. Plus, the blue, red, and yellow color palette only add to the dated childishness perceived at first site.
Nevertheless, Gvasalia contintued to push boundaries with this shoe, claiming a new territory that merged a hype sneaker world and chic high fashion world. The more the work of art that the Triple S is looked at, analyzed, and soaked in, the more settling it becomes to the eyes. Maybe its some sort of psychological subliminal message that comes with a brand name as big as Balenciaga stitched to the shoe, something that overpowers the nonsense of a purposefully dirtied shoe and makes the whole thing aesthetically pleasing and highly desirable. The Triple S triggers the retrospect of shoes that cannot exactly be pointed to, yet holistically and reductionistically evokes innovation and experimentation worth appreciation.
Since releasing the sneaker for consumers in September 2017, with the primary color and grey palettes, Balenciaga continuously offers new color combinations for the sneaker. From 2017 to 2019, the shoe has yet to disappear from their website and instead multiplying in distinct choices. The company has been completely unafraid of expanding the brand of the Triple S with alterations in color and design. Black and red, pink, yellow, green, white on white, black on black, and even a recent mint green color scheme have kept the shoes refreshing.
Most risqué of the iterations would however have to be the half and half designs that merge two palettes together on one shoe, splitting them right down the middle as if two non-matching shoes were sliced in half, swapped and glued together. It’s as if there was harmony found in several complementaries rather than one or two because the shoe has been a gift that has kept giving, for sure. At this point it would not be shocking if personal customization is presented to allow for even more flare for purchasers.
As previously mentioned, the Triple S sneaker is a leader in the current sneaker revolution. Now, most every high fashion and household name brand has their own iteration or revival of the “dad shoe” or “ugly sneaker”, as did many with the sock shoe after Gvasalia introduced it to Vetements and Balenciaga. Some brands have even appropriated Balenciaga’s Triple S prototype and palettes to put on shelves at lower cost shoes and, of course, there are knock offs that keep the name for questionable authenticity. Perhaps, these sneakers are not so ugly after all; they are different and eye catching and that is what many people like in their style. Nevertheless, in the world of high fashion, the Triple S reigns supreme amongst the followers of the sneaker era.