Highsnobiety

Brand: KENZO

Model: KENZO-PACE

Release Date: September 6

Price: $400

During KENZO’s Fall/Winter 2023 presentation in Paris earlier this year, Nigo presented his first two sneakers as the Japanese label’s artistic director.

The first, the KENZO-DOME, was officially revealed (and released) in June and immediately found itself added to my ever-growing list of Luxury Sneakers I Might Actually Wear.

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The second silhouette was a retro running-inspired sneaker, a style that's since been revealed as the KENZO-PACE, a techy and aerodynamic shoe that revisits the aesthetics of the universe of running.

Designed to convey the notion of speed, the sneaker's upper features a funky combination of mesh while a shock-absorbing and lightweight outsole is said to be both tougher and heavier than that of a traditional running shoe.

The KENZO-PACE is undeniably pulling on the shoe strings of the ongoing Y2K trend with its metallic paneling, chunky laces, and mish-mash of fabrics on the upper. Though, if we're being more specific they also bear a striking resemblance to the New Balance 860v2, seasoned with a sprinkling of HOKA.

Meshy upper? Check. Voluminous outsole? Check. Single letter branding on the side? Check.

Let me be clear: I’m not accusing anyone of anything here, just merely pointing out what I'm seeing.

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Still, it doesn't matter how similar the sneakers might appear to eye, because their price point certainly sets them apart. Where a New Balance 860v2 and most HOKAs tend to retail at around the $140 mark, the KENZO-PACE comes in at $400.

But hey, no hate to Nigo who, since becoming KENZO's Artistic Director, has elevated the label ten-fold, even with the sizeable weight of expectation he arrived with.

Truth is, Nigo always delivers. And his new KENZO-PACE sneakers, whether they resemble that of another label or or not, are proof.

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