What Happens When Sneakers Become Clothes

If there's any trend that'll define the early 2010s, it'll be our fascination with athletic elements on clothing that has no business being in a gym. Sports jerseys with suits, racing stripes on sweaters, and laces on stilettos make for an interesting message (especially for women whose version of exercise looks like running to the corner store for more beer). But, if there's one item that's really turned the runway into a racing track, it's the sneaker. Countless collections have incorporated sneakers into the lineup for the past half-decade now, but Alexander Wang's latest collection took things to the next level.
Inspired by sneaker culture, Wang took elements of the trainer — like laces, performance materials, treads, and shapes — and made clothes out of them. For anyone who's harbored sneakerhead ambitions, this collection would be a complete trip down the rabbit hole. (Curiously, for an entire collection inspired by sneakers, there wasn't a single trainer in the line-up. Ankle boots, pumps, and sandals were constructed with sneaker materials, but would land anyone in the orthopedic surgery unit if they tried to sprint in them.)
In the fluro mesh reminiscent of Roshe Runs, techno weaves like Flyknits, and the green-trimmed accents a la Stan Smiths. They were literal — a gray, rubberized dress was created to look like the treads — They're the shoes that downtown set of Wang die-hards are wearing, and it was a clever, irresistible take on something very much in the zeitgeist, without eliciting eye rolls from the cool kids you're actually trying to impress. We can imagine a line of women snaking around the block in Soho on the day of the drop, just like the other kind of sneaker head might do up the street at Supreme.

More from Designers

R29 Original Series