Balenciaga’s New Sneaker Has the Internet Divided


| LAST UPDATE 05/19/2022

By Peral Simons
Balenciaga Distressed, Dirty Sneaker
Ernesto S. Ruscio via Getty Images

There is truly no limit to how far the fashion world will go to make a statement, and Balenciaga is here to prove it. In a recent campaign, they revealed their new sneaker range being sold for $1850. With that hefty price tag, you probably imagine a gold-encrusted sneaker made of the finest materials. But no. Balenciaga believes a sneaker that looks like it has been through the wars is the ultimate new fashion trend - and they're not giving it away for cheap. So what's the message behind this look, and what do people have to say about it?

In a series of images shot for Balenciaga by Leopold Duchemin, the shoes on offer can be seen in precise detail. Tattered, distressed, broken, and referred to as the 'Paris Sneaker.' The brand's site advertises the shoe with "destroyed cotton and rubber" and "rippings all over the fabric." Yes, that is one confusing boast. Of course, these controversial photos spread online like wildfire, causing an intensely fierce debate. Despite the brand clarifying that the shoes pictured are a limited edition extreme version of their less rugged new sneaker sold for up to $625, a conversation has been sparked...

Balenciaga Sneaker, Trend, Distressed
Ben Marans/SOPA Images via Shutterstock
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So, what's the brand's mindset behind the campaign? Described by the brand themselves as "extremely worn, marked up, and dirtied," they explained in a statement that the images "suggest that Paris Sneakers are meant to be worn for a lifetime." This is in obvious contrast to the current rise of the fast-fashion industry, which encourages quick-turnover fashion and harsh impacts on the planet. Additionally, the sneaker represents the latest 'distressed fashion' trend, taking over the runway for its anti-fashion and casual nature.

Many, understandably, were not convinced of its worth. "If you bought the $1,850 Balenciaga sneaker that looks like it was run over by a lawnmower, please seek help but also please reach out to me because I would like to understand where your mind was at in that moment," one user shaded on Twitter. " They're selling these sneakers that look like they belonged to someone who could only afford one pair of shoes their entire adulthood for *625 DOLLARS.* Unchecked capitalism is mind-boggling, insisted another. Each to their own; we won't judge.

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