Pumped Up Kicks: How Nike got chic again

Nike footwear has taken a befuddling brand identity journey over the past 15 years. In the 90’s and early 00’s they rained as the cool footwear of choice. It was a time when girl bands liked the spice girls and all saints rocked rocked a sporty casual took its primary inspiration from street wear.  As the new millennium progressed, so did the downward trajectory of Nike trainers amongst fashion folk. The Sex and the City effect had young women lusting after Manolo Blahnik rather than the air cushioned comfort of a Nike trainer.  Much like the devaluation of the Burberry check, the Nike swoosh suffered by the association of its clientele. However, you can’t keep a good brand down, and similar to the regeneration of Burberry, Nike kicks risen from the flames to be reappropirated by the fashion fold, with some of the trendiest feet in the business being swaddled in the blissful comfort of a sports shoe. At fashion weeks the world over, bloggers and fashion editors alike are making an altogether more practical shoe choice when they’re racing from show to show.

Photo courtesy of thefashionguitar.com
Photo courtesy of thefashionguitar.com
Photo courtesy of trendsforthemasses.com
Photo courtesy of trendsforthemasses.com
Photo courtesy of thefashionguitar.com
Photo courtesy of thefashionguitar.com

You can’t discount the Isabel Marant effect – her wildly successful Bekett wedge trainer opened the dialogue between fashionistas and sports footwear.  Marant’s cartoonish vision of childhood velcro sneakers spurned a cult of desirability that rippled into the more traditional trainer market.

Isable Marant Bekett Suede Wedge Trainer
Isable Marant Bekett Suede Wedge Trainer

 


What’s interesting about this trend is the outfits that the worlds taste makers are putting together – there’s no way that the likes of Susie Bubble and co. are rocking up to the shows looking like they’re on the way to the gym – it’s a quirky, sophisticated look that’s moved Nike trainers up the fashion pecking order.

It’s a look that I’ve yet to try, but after years of teetering around in high heels, I think it’s high time I gave my poor, brutalised feet a rest and treated them to some much needed support.

 

Nike Dunk Sky Hi Vac Tech
Nike Dunk Sky Hi Vac Tech
Nike Blazer Mid iD
Nike Blazer Mid iD
Nike Air Max Liberty Print iD
Nike Air Max Liberty Print iD