Hot Takes by Chad: Collaboration Overload to the Future of Footwear

Chad Evans talks the worst of 2020 fashion, including Houdini chic and logo x logo collaborations.


Is it the end of the sneakers as we know it? (Photo by Edelawit Hussien)

Chad Evans, Staff Writer

The transition from January to February is a critical time for followers of fashion. Currently, we are in the midst of couture and men’s fashion weeks, and the women’s ready-to-wear is on the horizon. The new inspiration from the runways seemed to make it an apt time to deliver my style opinions. In this sophomore entry to the series, I will unpack unfortunate trends and encourage what I believe to be the promising new direction of fashion.

The End of Sneakers

Virgil Abloh, the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear and founder of Off-White, recently predicted the demise of streetwear, a not-entirely unique hypothesis for the future of fashion, and one that would spell the removal of Abloh’s own brand from the fashion conversation. It’s certain that fashion is headed toward a more tailored sensibility, albeit a style that is relaxed and voluminous in the same spirit of streetwear. The prediction of the culture desk isn’t that we’re suddenly going to throw on blazers every day in the new decade, as some have rushed to assert. The most significant shift from streetwear will be the return to traditional footwear after an era dominated by sneakers. From the ultra-minimalism of the sock sneaker to the ultra-maximalism of the chunky sneaker, current popular sneakers have covered the breadth of the design spectrum, which means fatigue of the shoe altogether is due. This makes it the ideal time to invest in high quality, classic footwear that will add an intelligent flare to an outfit. Don’t be tempted to dress more formally in coordination; even outfits incorporating performance wear can be paired with a leather shoe to achieve a delicate balance. Nearly any shoe can be the right shoe, from Bottega Veneta Intrecciato sandals to a vintage loafer.

Padlocks and Chains

This look originated from punk DIY culture in 1970’s London, but modern e-girls and e-boys are the ones responsible for bringing the look back into the public eye. My main issue is that this aesthetic is too often overdone to the point where it overpowers an outfit, instead of subtly elevating it as accessories are intended to do. With the right blazer and Alexander McQueen platforms, heavy chains and locks might be a worthy addition to an outfit, but usually, the wearer just looks like they’re being detained. It’s quite possible this is a trend that will be viewed by future generations with the same regard we as a society currently have for puka shell necklaces.

Unnecessary Collaborations

The fashion collaboration is something of a recent innovation in the industry, a reality that streetwear helped establish and Supreme helped propel. After peak collaboration occurred in 2017 between the top tiers of streetwear and luxury, Supreme and Louis Vuitton, the collaboration has seemed to have grown stale in recent years. Despite successful editions, such as the Moncler Genius line (which has proven the puffer jacket to be the most versatile garment in the known universe), most collaborations end up as a disappointing agglomeration of the most unimaginative elements of their creators. The Nike x Dior and Prada for Adidas collaborations were made up of brands that excel at design in their own unique way. But together, the unfortunate result was just a hybrid of their respective logos. If the result of the collaboration does not evolve the labels involved, it shouldn’t be done, let alone coveted. Incessant collaborations with licensed Disney images and an array of different brands is not a healthy alternative either.

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