Balenciaga’s SS21 show was Demna Gvasalia at his sinister best. The show gave us thumping techno beats, dark streets, and 59 looks that channeled everyone’s post-pandemic mood towards fashion: comfort over everything.
The Balenciaga show also gave us our first look at the X-Pander, the fashion house’s latest sneaker design. Like the Track and Track 2 before it, the X-Pander has a distinct ’90s or early ’00s aesthetic about it.
A mesh base gives way to mixed-material overlays. In terms of its design, there’s nothing about the sneaker’s upper that screams Balenciaga — or luxury, for that matter. It’s the sole unit, however, that stands out. The sneaker’s heel is mounted on a spring, which expands Inspector Gadget-style with each step.
Balenciaga’s become known for its wild sneaker designs, starting with the ultra-chunky Triple S and more recently its FW20 water shoe, Zen sneaker or Tyrex shoe. In terms of functionality, though, the X-Pander looks to be the craziest.
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