Luxury Parisian fashion house Balenciaga is looking to push the fashion envelope and test consumer loyalty by launching a line of limited-edition sneakers, in dilapidated form, for $1,850, as viewed on the brand’s website.
The line introduces a new Paris sneaker in few different varieties at various prince points, the highest of which stands at $1,850 and the lowest at $495. They come in a range of high-tops and mules. According to reports, only 100 pairs of the “extra destroyed” version will be available.
The images were shot by photographer Leopold Duchemin for the brand, reported CNN.
Since their launch this week, the fashion fraternity on the internet has been divided, sharing images of the said sneaker and wondering whether the price point is relevant and worth it, and whether the beat-up style constitutes fashion, leaving fashion insiders wondering whether we are having a 'The Emperor’s New Clothes' moment.
In a press release, the brand said that the campaign photos show the shoes "extremely worn, marked up, and dirtied," suggesting that the sneakers would look like that after having been worn for years and years.
The still-life portraits "suggest that Paris Sneaker are meant to be worn for a lifetime" – alluding to sustainability, something that the fashion industry is fast adapting to amid growing conversations around the fast fashion industry and the environmental impact of overconsumption, reported CNN.
This is not the first time the designer of the house, Demna Gvasalia, has challenged convention and disrupted the industry.
In 2021, he collaborated with 'The Simpsons' to launch his Spring-Summer 2022 collection that, instead of a fashion show, showed an original fashion film, with The Simpsons characters dressed in the brand's clothing – in animated form.
The short film told the story of Homer Simpson contacting Balenciaga to request the fashion house send a branded item or "piece of cloth with a tag" to celebrate his "fashion-deprived" wife Marge Simpson's birthday.
It received rave reviews for its ingenuity, subversion and audacity and blurring the lines of pop-culture and fashion.