The Best Sneakers from Luxury Designers this Season

best luxury designer sneakers

The new power dress code for men involves chic sneakers. And increasingly, the same can be said for women. But which expensive sneakers are actually worth the money? And how do you put the look together in a way that’s stylish and smart? Our correspondent Julie Chang Murphy has the rundown on the best sneakers from luxury designers this season and how to wear them.

the best sneakers from luxury designers this season

We’re kind of obsessed with sneakers at Dandelion Chandelier. Whether we’re covering the world of sneakerheads or the “It” sneaker of the rich and powerful, this seemingly humble footwear means a lot of things to a lot of people.

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In this installment on the world of sneakers, we’re focusing on the sneakers designed by famed, centuries-old European ateliers. The illustrious global luxury brands like Chanel, Dior, FENDI, Prada, Valentino, Gucci, Louis Vuitton. Alexander McQueen, Stella McCarthy, Balenciaga, and Louboutin who are as much in the sneaker business as they are making heritage trunks and tweed jackets.

 best expensive sneakers this season

How to wear the best expensive sneakers this season: the new Adidas x Prada collaboration. Courtesy Photo.

sneakers are the new fashion icon

For fashion types, designer kicks are fast becoming the preferred way to show off one’s sartorial capital. Hard to believe but in certain demographics, they have eclipsed luxury handbags as the ultimate status symbol.

best expensive luxury sneakers

How to wear the best expensive designer luxury sneakers: the collaboration Supreme x Louis Vuitton. Courtesy Photo.

According to our friends at the consumer market research group, NPD Group Inc., footwear now accounts for nearly half of all luxury fashion dollars spent online, with high-end sneakers propelling much of the growth. Bruce Pask, the Men’s Fashion Director at Bergdorf’s and Neiman Marcus acknowledged that sneakers are “not really even a trend anymore-it’s become a category.”

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Arguably the most successful and recognizable designer sneakers are Balenciaga’s best-selling Triple S and sock-style Speed Trainers. They were a hit with both fashion nerds and sneaker fanatics, launching the whole “dad sneaker” wave. They were financially so successful that they catapulted the brand to the top of parent company Kering’s portfolio, putting it on par with (or even above) Gucci in terms of growth in 2018.

The best luxury designer sneakers this season

How to wear the best luxury designer sneakers this season: the Balenciaga Triple S. Courtesy Photo.

millennials and gen z are the driving force

For sociologists and economists, the rise of sportswear and enduring appeal of athleisure signal the power of Millennials and Gen Z. It isn’t hard to understand why premium brands want to court younger clientele. By 2025, 45 percent of the luxury market is set to be made up of these two groups.

They’re also ushering in a newly accepted casual dress code, not only in Silicon Valley, but on Wall Street. Last year, Goldman Sachs announced a firm-wide relaxed dress code to encourage a more casual environment. Wearing trainers- like low top Lanvins- with a suit is code for being creative, powerful, and authentic.

The best luxury designer sneakers this season: men’s sneakers with a suit.

hip-hop and rap are also behind the rise of designer sneakers

One could also interpret the rise of sneakers as Forbes contributor, Kori Hale, posits as “hip-hop replacing Hollywood as the most powerful force in global entertainment culture.” Rappers are quickly becoming fashion’s new royalty and they have created some of the most successful sneaker collaborations.

The best luxury designer sneakers: Pharrell x Chanel’s Hu Race Trail Sneaker. Courtesy Photo.

One stunning example – Pharrell x Chanel’s Hu Race Trail Sneaker are currently on resale sites like Stockx and Goat for $20,000! As A$AP Rocky told Business of Fashion, “It’s important for this generation and the next generation to see people that look like them or that inspire them, because fashion isn’t just for the elite any more.”

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collaboration not competition between luxury and athletic shoe brands

As for those aforementioned sneakerheads, collaborations between sportswear giants like Nike and Adidas and the luxury houses show no signs of abating. A quick look at the team ups would suggest that contrary to initial instincts, the sneaker world is not a battleground of athletic shoe companies vs. global luxury brands.

best luxury designer sneakers

How to wear the best expensive luxury designer sneakers: Puma x Balmain. Courtesy Photo.

Rather, it’s a mutually beneficial high-powered marriage that elicits consumer hysteria and big bucks. Adidas and Yohji Yamamoto, Rick Owens and Raf Simons. Nike with Comme des Garçons, Sacai, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Undercover. Puma and Alexander McQueen and Balmain. Reebok and Pyer Moss, Victoria Beckham, and Vetements.

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2020 looks to be a big year for these collaborations

This year, there’s the highly anticipated Nike x Dior collaboration and Adidas x Prada. Rumors are also swirling that Louis Vuitton will be partnering with the NBA for a special collaboration to be unveiled January 22, just two days before the Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks inaugural NBA regular season game in Paris.

One of the hottest collaborations for 2020 is the new Nike x Dior collection. Courtesy Photo.

The hype and exclusive drops makes perfect sense for luxury, a segment of the market that is built on exclusivity. Not to mention, it captures the attention of younger consumers, keeping the luxury brands culturally relevant.

the best sneakers from luxury designers this season

Who would have guessed that the world of luxury sneakers would intersect so many sectors of our culture? But ultimately, beyond all of their current significance, some things are just intrinsically fun. If you’re choosing to invest or just enjoy the view, our money’s on the enduring, irreverent and youthful appeal of the sneaker.

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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier Newsletter hereAnd see luxury in a new light.

Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years including fashion design, event planning, fitness and even investigating police misconduct. Julie lives in NYC where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing and spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood.

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