In case you missed it, Balenciaga outdid itself by releasing a shoe ten times more outrageous than its high-heeled Croc, its ultra-bulky Trooper boot, and its dangerously pointy Space derby.
The Paris sneaker, an intentionally distressed high-top, became the internet's most hated thing just hours after its debut. Complete with holes, yellowing seams, skid marks, and chunks taken out of the sole, the model struck many as a social experiment engineered to answer the age-old question: will customers buy anything, as long as there's a designer label slapped on it?
There were also the troubling connotations that accompanied the Paris — which will release in limited quantities for $1,850 — and its undeniable likeness to worn-out footwear that some are forced to wear out of financial necessity. A fashion house designing a "luxurious" version of poverty is not a good look; rich customers trying on and taking off signifiers of poverty as they please is also not a good look.
Of course, Highsnobiety had to get its hands on the sneaker. Was the Paris all just a bad dream?
Not a dream, it turns out. The Paris exists, and it feels almost sacrilegious to touch.
In fact, I found myself holding the shoe between my thumb and index finger, the way dog owners carry poop bags to the trash can. While looking at it, could feel my lips curling into a contemptuous snarl.
Being around the sneaker was kind of a mind fuck.
My hands felt dirty, even though the kicks were technically new. They had that rubbery, plasticky new shoe smell — a scent I usually enjoy that, paired with the shoe's upsetting visuals, struck as stinky.
They're so tattered, I hesitated to put them on. While gingerly loosening the already shredded laces, I feared I might do further damage.
No matter how much discretionary spending you've built into your non-existent budget, I beg you to consider this before adding to cart: as a shoe, the Paris will not do its job.
Water will seep through its (many) holes. Dirt will stain your socks or — gasp — bare feet. People will probably laugh at you.