One of the few runway shows I was actually able to attend while I was in New York for Fashion Week was by a menswear designer out of Mexico named Ricardo Seco. I was unfamiliar with Seco and did no research before attending, so I had absolutely no idea what to expect from his runway show. Luckily the show turned out to be a blast and not just because of the incredibly adorable male models who at the end of the show stood up on pedestals which, perhaps unintentionally, positioned their crotches at our first row seat’s eye level (suddenly a bunch of women in their mid-late twenties were giggling like middle schoolers. Seco put down some really interesting designs including even some accessories that I myself as a woman was coveting, like a crazy cool gold backpack. But one of the other main things that stood out from Seco’s show was definitely the choice of footwear.
Every chiseled face model walked down the runway with a pair of New Balance sneakers on his feet. I was a little caught off guard by this styling choice since I first of all, haven’t really taken note of a New Balance tennis shoe since I was in high school, and because secondly, it’s not a shoe that (even in their glory of my middle school and high school days) I would have expected to see on a runway. However, what probably threw me even more for a loop was how well the sporty shoes actually accompanied the chic streetwear designs.
After coming back to Austin I got caught up on some of my social media shtuff and realized that none other than the Man Repeller herself, Leandra Medine had actually just posted about New Balance sneakers. Leandra of course has found a few ways to make the sneaker work for her. I especially love the way she put them with a TopShop mini dress. This obviously brought some validity to the case that New Balances are now fashionable again (another thing to debate here is if New Balances were ever really fashionable?).
But, even after being endorsed by the Man Repeller, I wasn’t 100% convinced that New Balances were actually “back.” That is of course until an email from Urban Outfitters popped up in my inbox spouting the new New Balance. When it comes to fashion trends is there anything more mainstream than Urban Outfitters? I think not. So, apparently New Balances are a thing now whether we like it or not.
Personally, ever since I graduated high school I have had somewhat of an aversion to sneakers. The explanation to this aversion goes a little beyond the simple fact that I’ve never been the Sporty Spice type, and can be understood by the fact that I went to a private school. Our uniform included a shoe dress code that up until about 8th grade allowed for only closed toe loafers or lace-ups. Right before entering high school the code was finally changed to include sneakers (this was actually all thanks to my stubborn older sister by the way, which is a whole other story that’s telling about the girls in my family…we aren’t afraid to break the rules and like to get things our way and my sister at the time enjoyed wearing sneakers to school.)
The change to sneakers of course made sneakers the cool new thing to awkwardly pair with our navy blue jumper and white collared button down shirts. The juxtaposition was certainly a little odd, yet still thematically preppy. I was never a huge fan of the look, particularly because at this time in my life my legs were awkwardly skinny and yet my feet somewhat large for the rest of my body. Big chunky sneakers made me look and feel all kinds of dorky, and I’m not totally sure that a pair of New Balances wouldn’t create the same effect on me today. But, I might be willing to give them a try because hey, I’m about to embark on a travel adventure and need some comfortable walking shoes (more on this in a later blog post.)
Will you be sporting this new sporty trend? Are the “new” New Balances a fashion do or don’t?
keep austin stylish