Images, taken by photographer Léopold Duchemin for the brand, of ragged and distressed shoes went viral after the couture brand’s new Parisian sneaker was launched on Monday, with outrage at the appearance of the high-tops swirling in line.
According to the fashion house, only 100 pairs of “extra destroy” sneakers will be available for purchase for $1,850. Meanwhile, the non-limited edition and less raw versions are being sold on Balenciaga’s website for $495 and $625, depending on the specific style.
The ‘extremely worn’ Balenciaga sneakers are raising eyebrows online. Credit: Courtesy of Balenciaga
In a press release, the Paris-based brand said campaign photos show the shoes “extremely worn, marked and soiled.”
An example of the less raw version of the sneaker, available for pre-order for $625 on the Balenciaga website. Credit: Courtesy of Balenciaga
Demna is known for his disruptive flair and the sneaker launch in Paris isn’t the first time his designs have sparked bemused reactions.
Balenciaga describes the sneaker as a “revamped classic design”, which is finished with “distressed canvas and rough edges, affecting a pre-worn look”.
Online reactions to the Paris sneaker have been mixed.
But not everyone thinks sneakers are worth laughing at.
The jury seems to be out on whether this latest marketing move deserves praise or ridicule. Either way, Demna and Balenciaga have once again got people talking, no doubt drawing plenty to a brand that seems increasingly comfortable with controversy.
Top image: Campaign images of Balenciaga’s Paris sneaker.