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In True Meta Fashion, These Are Shoes For Your Shoes

Feb 7, 2018
Originally published on February 8, 2018 7:43 am

After a big fashion show there's always the question of which trends will make the leap from the runway to real life. And after Paris Men's Fashion Week, at least one question remains: Do shoes need their own pair of shoes?

Chinese fashion label Sankuanz hopes the answer is absolutely.

Its design team sent male models down the runway wearing high top sneakers — that never actually touched the runway.

"They're transformable sneakers that have an outer layer of protective sandal that you can enter Velcro into and you can strap them on or off," is how Sankuanz publicist Courtney Wittich describes the concept.

But ultimately, they look like big-cushioned, rubber and plastic orthopedic Birkenstocks — with Velcro straps — and you strap them on top of your existing shoes.

Or they look like open-concept galoshes. That's up to you.

Sankuanz showed them on the runway in black and beige.

"I think they're going to be really popular," Wittich says. "I mean, you know, the streets are quite dirty and people want to protect their shoes, especially if they're paying a lot of money for them."

The shoe sandals will sell for about $355 when they go on the market in August.

"You can walk totally normal in them and it gives you an extra layer of protection and then also height," Wittich says.

That's an advantage if you want a little more height — but some don't.

For people who saw the Sankuanz show last month, there's no question that these things made an impression.

Fashion journalist Lily Templeton, who's based in Paris, says the double shoe is not out of step with the Chinese company's brand image.

"It seemed to fit the aesthetic of what Sankuanz was showing — looks kind of dystopian, grow-wherever-you're-planted-even-if-it's-a-post-apocalyptic world," Templeton says.

Templeton says layer-on-layer clothing is a real trend these days — and this just plays off of that.

She says, "a lot of designers want to give you that kind of adaptability where you can transform your clothing, so why not transform your shoes?"

Once you're adding shoes on top of your shoes, what's next? Shoes for your shoes ... on shoes? Sankuanz's Wittich does say there's a limit to this layered look.

"So far we haven't heard anything about a third layer generation, but if we hear about that we'll let you know," Wittich says.

"So far" are the key words there.

The audio for this piece was produced by NPR's Art Silverman and edited by NPR's Renita Jablonski.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

After a big fashion show, there's always the question, which trends will make the leap from the runway to real life? After Paris Men's Fashion Week, we ask, do shoes need their own pair of shoes?

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The Chinese fashion label Sankuanz hopes the answer is yes. Its design team sent male models down the runway wearing high-top sneakers that never actually touched the runway. Here's how Sankuanz's publicist Courtney Wittich describes the concept.

COURTNEY WITTICH: They're transformable sneakers that have an outer layer of protective sandal that you can either Velcro into, and you can strap them on or off.

KELLY: Yeah. They look like these big, cushioned rubber and plastic orthopedic Birkenstocks with Velcro straps, and you strap them on top of your existing shoes. Ari, you look like you might need some persuading.

SHAPIRO: Yeah. I'm not going to wear these, no. I am 6-foot-3 and don't need any extra height. Thank you very much. Sankuanz showed them in black and beige.

WITTICH: I think they're going to be really popular. I mean, you know, the streets are quite dirty, and people want to protect their shoes, especially if they're paying a lot of money for them.

KELLY: Well, the shoe sandals will sell for about $335 when they go on the market. That's in August.

WITTICH: And you can walk totally normal in them, and it gives you an extra kind of layer of protection and then also height.

SHAPIRO: Right, height - no, thank you - pass.

KELLY: (Laughter) For people who saw the Sankuanz show last month, there's no question these things did make an impression.

LILY TEMPLETON: People were quite interested in this shoe on shoe.

KELLY: That's fashion journalist Lily Templeton. She's based in Paris. She says the double shoe is not out of step with the Chinese company's brand image.

TEMPLETON: It seems to fit the aesthetic of what Sankuanz was showing - this kind of dystopian, grow wherever you're planted even if it's a post-apocalyptic world.

SHAPIRO: Templeton says layered clothing is a real trend these days - says the guy wearing a shirt with a hoodie with a blazer.

KELLY: (Laughter).

SHAPIRO: And this plays off that.

TEMPLETON: A lot of designers want to give you that kind of adaptability where you're able to transform your clothing. So why not transform your shoes?

KELLY: And why not once you're adding shoes on top of your shoes maybe consider some shoes for your shoes on shoes? Publicist Courtney Wittich says there is a limit to this layered look.

WITTICH: So far we haven't heard anything about a third layer generation, but if we hear about that, we'll let you know.

SHAPIRO: We'll stay tuned.

(SOUNDBITE OF KANYE WEST SONG, "FLASHING LIGHTS")

KELLY: You're listening to all shoes - I mean, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.