Pre-distressed sneakers are nothing new in the fashion world—brands like Golden Goose, Gucci, and Maison Margiela have been criticized for selling dirty looking shoes at grossly marked up prices in the past. Even sportswear brands have dabbled in the trend, with pre-yellowed TPUs and DIY “vintage” customs becoming commonplace in recent years. But a new design from Balenciaga dials the soiled look to the extreme, and social media is predictably up in arms over the shoes.
Dubbed the Paris Sneaker, Balenciaga’s newest footwear offering comes in both high-top and mule offerings. The normal version, which retails at $625 for the high-top and $495 for the mule, is relatively inoffensive. They look like tumble-dried Chuck Taylors and come in black, red, and white colorways. If Balenciaga stopped there it probably could have avoided the social media response, but the Demna Gvasalia-led brand took things further with a limited-edition “Fully Destroyed” variation of the shoe. According to Balenciaga, these specific pairs were created for the sneaker’s ad campaign and come “extremely worn, marked up, and dirtied.” 100 pairs are available from balenciaga.com in white and black and priced at $1,850 each.
It’s worth noting that the pairs being sold (pictured above) don’t look quite as trashed as the shoes photographed for the campaign, but they were still enough to get Twitter talking.