Ah, Paris. The city of lights has long been a bastion of baguettes, romanticism, and some of the fashion industry’s top talents. Among them is Isabel Marant, the namesake fashion house formed in 1994 that has grown to outfit a legion of Parisian creatives running from one arrondissement to another.
What began as a line of jerseys and knitwear in the ’90s has since blossomed into a behemoth with stores in 35 countries and earned a special place in the heart of fashion editors worldwide. Yet, for all of their global success, Marant’s fashion house still retains the core French identity that it has stitched into its garments for over two decades. Nowhere has that become more apparent than with the well-worn Isabel Marant boots, heels, and sneakers that Parisians have been hitting the pavement in for years.
It’s within their sneaker line that Marant has begun to push her way into fashion’s seemingly endless embrace of streetwear and, with it, a love affair with chunkier sneaker silhouettes. Enter: the Kindsay trainers. Set on top of a thick sole, the leather and neoprene dad-approved sneakers with hiking-inspired multi-tonal laces have become a top choice for young Parisians looking to embody the artful soul of the city with every garment.
Among the colorful cast of creatives running from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde (and back again), we caught up with six, dressed them in Isabel Marant’s latest offerings and sent them into the cobblestone streets to talk about why an Isabel Marant fit from head to toe is perfect for their fast-paced lifestyle.
For Jeff Hinton, there’s nothing better than “rushing from one arrondissement to another in sneakers.” The London-born model and aspiring clothing designer has lived in France since he was 9-years-old, so he’s become well acquainted with never having any spare time as he runs to castings with sketchpad in hand. It was only as the cruised the latest wares from Marant to match with his Kindsay sneakers that he found time to breathe and create an effortlessly fire fit. Mixing a chic overcoat and colorful streetwear pants, he settled into a vibe that he described as “living in our time” — a perfect blend of garments for his busy lifestyle.
Hilton isn’t the only one turning Paris into their own personal racetrack. For architect and illustrator Garance Vallée, it’s essential to have “a good pair of sneakers to match with all your wardrobe” because, as she says with a casual laugh, she runs a lot. With her breakneck pace, it was essential her style on the streets and in her studio maintain a chic Parisian air while placing comfort above all. Moving through the racks, she picked an outfit that represented her “romantic beige mood,” settling on an oversized shirt that reminded her of the artist shirt her father wore in the studio when he painted.
A few racks down from Vallée’s new earth-toned obsession, Moon Kyu Lee was busy blending pure, scaled back silhouettes for a look she hoped showed off her serious side, explaining: “I want people to see me as a serious person when they see my outfits.” That’s not to say the artist is completely focused on going for a stark and serious silhouette in the big black Isabel Marant trench she had her eye on and calling it a day. Settling for a simplified mix of garments, she’s taken to tying it all together with the Kindsay’s contrasting colorway, explaining: “Those sneakers bring a chic touch to my Parisian look!”
Of course, Lee wasn’t the only Parisian quick to throw out the word “chic” to describe the Kindsay colorways. When influencers Liz Pinto and Jean Jacques took a break from debating the best fit to wear the sneakers with (a black suit with smoky eye makeup for Pinto versus a big coat and even bigger trousers for Jacques), they were settling on why the shoe is perfectly Parisian. Dressed up or pared down, it’s “cool, chic, and laid back” according to Pinto while maintaining the on-trend stylings that keep it a “luxurious and street style” staple for Jacques.
With so many adjectives and styling ideas floating around the cobblestone streets as the crew of Parisians wandered around in their Isabel Marant fit, it was artist Alizée Gamberini who best described why the design house has crafted the perfect Parisian trainer. “Today we are surrounded by sneakers, but when I saw the Isabel Marant Kindsay, I thought that they have something new — something very interesting. I can wear them during summer or winter in Paris, with a dress, a denim, or a suit. In one word: CHAMELEON.”
- Words: Chris Thomas
- Photographer: Mathieu Vilasco
- Videographer: Mohamad Chabane
- Styling: Atip W / Highsnobiety
- Hair: Akemi Kishida / Atomo Paris
- Hair Assistant: Miwa Moroki
- Make-Up: Thomas Lorenz / Atomo Paris
- Make-Up Assistant: Isabelle Kryla
- Casting: Paul Samb
- Talent: Jean-Jacques N’Djoli
- Talent: Moon Kyu Lee
- Talent: Alizee Gamberini
- Talent: Lizette Pinto
- Talent: Geoffrey Petrovich Hinton
- Talent: Garance Vallee
- Producer: Ufuk Inci
- Production Assistant: Fania Folaji
- Project Manager: Johanna Gerhardt